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Experts: Latvia does not use advantages offered by technologies

In spite of wide technological opportunities to create a powerful digital economy, Latvia either does not know how or simply does not use those advantages. This hurts the country’s competitiveness on the global market.

This is why it is necessary to take action on a national level and invest money in education of society and businessmen, according to Latvian Internet Association.

One of the most important indexes that reflect Latvia’s progress in digital economy is European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Compared with other EU member states, based on DESI, Latvia was 19th last year.

Although the growing number of high-speed broadband users is a positive development, the level of digital skills of half of Latvia residents remains low even though 77% of residents use the internet.

Latvia’s weakest accomplishment is noted in the digitization of business activities and e-commerce. It has been concluded that in spite of the fact that 55% of Latvian residents actively use e-commerce services to purchase goods and services, only 8% of small and medium-sized companies use e-commerce channels to sell their products and offer services.

«We, Latvian residents, have gotten used to shopping on eBay.com, aliexpress.com, alibaba.com and amazon.com – purchases made on these platforms have become an everyday occurrence for us. But it would be far more beneficial for the state economy if Latvian businessmen learned to trade on those platforms and use unlimited opportunities provided by the global economy,» says LIA CEO Viesturs Selmanovs-Pless.

What Latvian businessmen lack the most is experience and knowledge of pushing goods and services on the digital market. One of the best ways of achieving that is integrating knowledge of this kind into secondary and higher education institutions’ education programmes.

Secondly, Latvian businessmen do not have enough information about stories of success of other Latvian businessmen entering the global market. Cosmetics, clothing, IT programming and IT equipment are especially noteworthy in this regard.

Internet speed in Latvia exceeds that of many other European member states. Technology costs in Latvia are some of the lowers in Europe. «This means we have good infrastructure we can use to develop e-commerce,» explains Selmanovs-Pless.

Latvian businessmen are cautious in their investments in technological development, which often associated with lack of knowledge of where their business could go. It is also important to follow rules specific to each country when entering their market.


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