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Ašeradens: productivity of Latvia’s economy is far behind Europe

Arvils Ašeradens/flickr.com/Saeima.
Productivity of Latvia’s economy is far behind Europe – 43% behind the average productivity level in the European Union is actual prices, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Neatkarīgā newspaper.

According to the minister, the situation is tragic he most in information and communication technology sector.

He said that Latvia has only several actually competitive sectors. He mentioned logging as one good example, because the productivity of this industry exceeds 70% of the European average level. «It is able to develop and compete on the global market and secure exports worth several billions. Grains production sector of agriculture is very export-capable. The same can be said about non-metallic minerals,» said the minister. Productivity of the chemical industry, when compared with other European industries, is 23%. Productivity of manufacture of machineries is 25%, energy and gas supply sector’s productivity is nearly 25% and productivity of the mining and quarrying industry is 26%.

Ašeradens mentioned the ICT sector’s situation as the most tragic, in which productivity is 30%.

The minister also said that wages keep growing in this industry, but income and exports are very low. ‘This industry is in Europe’s bottom three along with Bulgaria and Romania. When it comes to ICT, programming is used for other industries as well – agriculture, industrial manufacture and state sector digitization. Unfortunately, this sector is very weak,’ said the minister.

He said in an open economy Latvian businessmen have to invest in development of technologies, employee training and make sure experienced people are hired. «Sooner or later, unproductive companies will have to face the risk and be pushed out the market,» said Ašeradens.

According to him, the government has done two important things to develop competitiveness – introduce zero rate for reinvested profits for companies to be able to invest in machineries, technologies and people, as well as put pressure on the market by raising minimal wages to make companies more efficient and make the economy productive and make it possible to pay more to residents for their work and ensure they stay in the country.


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