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LIAA: transports, logistics, ICT and woodworking will be Latvia’s most perspective sectors

Andris Ozols/twitter.com.
The flow of foreign money shows that Latvia is an attractive country in the eyes of investors. They view the country convenient to work with and trustworthy. With that, decline in investments in not a good sign, Andris Ozols, head of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, comments the rapid decline of foreign investments experienced in the first half-year of 2016.

When asked what could be the cause for such a rapid decline, Ozols noted that the industrial output volume has somehow increased in spite of that. «Decline in investments has been noticed in the banking sector. It is worth keeping in mind that Swedbank has significantly reduced its base capital from nearly EUR 1 billion to EUR 575 million. This means a major decline does not mean closure of production plants or loss of jobs. Regardless, statistics reflect the change,» – he said.

As a comparison, he mentioned the sale of a major bank to a foreigner. This sale had virtually no impact on the national economy. Nevertheless, this was reflected statistically – something in Latvia became owned by a foreigner. «This is good in a way – it shows economic activity. But this must not become an objective – to sell the country. It should be viewed together with a consecutive secondary effect – what those foreign businessmen do with properties they own. If they develop and create new jobs, built production plants, service centres and help the education centres – all is good,» – Ozols said.

According to him, attraction of foreign investments requires development of infrastructure and active involvement from municipalities, making them more welcoming and attractive. «Understanding of this from society’s side is equally important. They have to understand that Latvia needs production plants, not protests. I believe we should become more open,» – Ozols added.

Latvia remains attractive for the creation of outsourcing centres, different data processing and IT service centres, metalworking and woodworking industries and pharmaceutical industry.

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