Business Forum in London to Discuss Economic Development Trends, Investment Environment in Latvia

News - October 15, 2012

The Latvian Embassy in the United Kingdom and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) have announced that they will be organising a business forum on October 17 in London under the title “Safely Navigating in the Rough Waters of the European Economy.”  The purpose will be to inform British businesspeople about economic development trends and the investment environment in Latvia.  The forum is being organised in partnership with the Baltic International Bank and the City of London Corporation, which is London’s financial centre.

Among those to address the forum will be Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Latvian ambassador to the UK, Eduards Stiprais, Juris Kravalis from the Bank of Latvia, Mark Boleat from the City of London Corporation, the deputy board chairwoman of the Baltic International Bank, Natalya Tkachenko, the senior partner in Latvia of the Imprimatur Capital Fund Management risk capital fund, Toby Moore, The Economist editor Edward Lucas, and the editor of the Financial Times magazine fDI Magazine, Courtney Fingar.

The forum will allow British businesspeople to learn more about Latvia’s solutions in overcoming the country’s economic and financial crisis, as well as about the latest economic development trends in the country.  It will also inform investors about investment opportunities in the Baltic Sea region and about the investment environment in Latvia.

“The crisis years were an examination for Latvian companies, and only the strongest ones survived – those which were always seeking out new solutions and innovative ideas and which were sufficiently flexible so as to adapt business models to the new circumstances,” says Tkachenko.  “We are convinced that there are many attractive opportunities in Latvia today for international investors, including those from the UK, and because of that, we believe that it is very important to provide those who are interested with timely information and with an opportunity to establish business contacts.”

Latvia has experienced the most rapid GDP growth rate in the entire European Union this year – 5.1%.  A strict programme of frugality has made it possible for Latvia’s economy to recover so that the euro can be implemented in 2014.  Economic growth is supported by powerful domestic consumption and increasing exports, and that has facilitated an increase in direct foreign investments.  Such investments quadrupled in 2010 in comparison to 2009, and then it quadrupled again in 2011 in comparison to 2010, achieving a level equal to 5.5% of GDP.  Particular growth in investments was seen in areas such as the energy sector (+41.1%) and the processing industries (+29.5%), says the LIAA.

Ambassador Stiprais:  “Latvia is no longer a ‘blank space’ on the map for politicians and businesspeople in Latvia.  Our job is to strengthen Latvia’s image as an attractive investment destination and a secure business partner.  The best advertising in this regard is based on existing and successful trade and investment projects, which are increasing in number.  The time is past when potential business partners relied on vivid advertising slogans about the advantages of Latvia’s business environment.  Now that they can quickly and fully evaluate the true situation in the country, the level of interest in Great Britain has increased substantially.”

The head of the LIAA office in the UK, Guntis Rubīns, says that the bilateral economic relationship between Latvia and the UK has become far more intensive and diverse in recent years.  This is due in part to the fact that increasing numbers of Latvian residents are moving to Great Britain to find work or pursue an education.  As the understanding of British market specifics and the country’s business culture expands, providers of Latvian goods and services can enter the market in a farm more convincing way.  What’s more, some of those who came to Britain to find a job have already established their own companies.  “This forum will help British businesspeople to get a better sense of Latvia’s business environment and the opportunities which it provides,” says Rubīns.  “We hope that they will be inspired to come up with new ideas and joint projects.”

Baltic International Bank has supported various types of events in Britain for the past four years, and is proud that this is our contribution toward strengthening international economic contacts

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