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Prime Minister: Latvia wishes to work in Japan’s global financial technologies market

Māris Kučinskis/flickr.com/Saeima.
Latvia has a unique synergy between traditional finance sector and fintech companies. People there constantly come up with new solutions to make Latvia the first choice for fintech company headquarters, said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis at the opening of World FinTech Day Latvia business seminar in Tokyo on 7 December.

He said most start-up companies in Latvia work in fintech industry. «Fintech industry’s success story is based on the fact that Latvia is the financial centre of the Baltic region,» Kučinskis said.

Reaching out to economic experts present at the seminar, the prime minister added that the Latvian government has developed a national concept based on tangible data. This concept has three basic principles: free access to public data, education of society and its involvement through open data, and development of innovative products.

«This concept has a very practical side – not only do sumo-fighting robots built in Latvia win international robot fighting tournaments, but there are also AI technologies that help save live on roads in Latvia and cyber security solutions that protect state infrastructure,» said Kučinskis.

It is noted that Latvia is viewed as an innovation transfer and technology platform in the Nordic region, which has an excellent ecosystem for development of inter-industrial technologies and start-ups. Latvia has the most modern start-up environment regulations in Europe. The Startup Law came into force in 2017. This law defines what a start-up company is and what tax regime is applied.

Latvia also has very close ties to world leaders in IT. A research and innovation centre was created in cooperation with Microsoft this year. Latvia and Japan also have joint projects – Zabbix and Pins Co.

Kučinskis emphasized that with a labour force well-educated in finances and banking, as well as IT accessibility and legal aid, Latvia can prove itself on the global financial technology market. «Looking to the potential of start-ups contributing to the national economy, we constantly work on new solutions to make Latvia the first choice for fintech companies’ headquarters. This is becoming more topical with Britain’s decision to leave EU,» said the prime minister.

It was also mentioned that Japanese businessmen are more than welcome to try out Latvia’s innovative solutions at any time. «Latvia has an ecosystem with knowing and innovative people capable of developing competitive solutions for global markets,» added the prime minister.


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