Advocacy update from FICIL

Dec 19, 2019

AmCham members are entitled to participating in 12 FICIL working groups through AmCham's associate membership in FICIL. Healthcare and Energy & Waste Management work groups will hold their closest meetings in January. In addition, FICIL will launch FICIL Sentiment Index 2019 on January 15 at 14:00 at SSE Riga.

We kindly remind you to register for the groups that you would like to participate in, if you have not managed it yet. Below you will find a list of FICIL's recent and active work groups and a short description of issues the group has been lately focusing on.

Leader: Claudio Rivera (RBS)
The work group representatives have been actively involved in discussion forums on challenges in Latvia's higher education system organised by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Food and Drink Industry
Leader: Nele Normak (Coca-Cola)
It is planned that the work group will cover topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, review planed policy initiatives regarding sweeteners, look at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction.

Economic and Financial Crime issues
Leader: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB) and Andris Lazdiņš (Ellex Klavins)
The work group is working on recommendation for Latvian government to improve legal acts so that they go in line with principles of justice, rule of law and transparency. One of the work group's important tasks among the others is to address the injustice of fraudulent abuse of insolvency system.

Labour Force Issues
Leaders: Irina Kostina (Ellex Klavins) 
The work  group held a meeting with the Ministry of Health and General Practitioners associations to discuss fake sick leave issuance.

Transport issues 
Leaders: Arnis Kākulis (AECOM)
The work group deals with issues related to transportation policy and logistics issues. The work group has been vocal in raising topics related with transparency of logistics policy and railway tariffs.

Energy and Waste Management
Leader: Dace Cīrule (Deloitte)
Next meeting: January 24 at 8:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
The work group is preparing a unified position for Cabinet regulations dealing with creation of the deposit system, as well as discussing changes in the Natural resources tax.

Leader: Renārs Rūsis (Swedbank)
The work group members are cooperating with VARAM by providing investors' input for the OECD draft report Going Digital in Latvia.

Construction work group
Leader: Ilze Kramiņa, Zanda Zaļuma (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.

Healthcare issues work group
Leader: Daina Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithKline)
Next meeting: January 14 at 11:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
The work group is discussing physical, economic and information access to healthcare services, focusing on primary, secondary and long-term care, as well as the quality, efficiency and cost of healthcare services.

Investment Protection and Court Efficiency
Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The work group representatives met with Legal Policy Adviser to the President of Latvia, Mr. Jānis Pleps, and economic policy adviser, Mrs. Alise Pīka, to talk about court specialisation, further improving the quality of legislative process, problems in public procurement regulation, as well as improving the regulation of insolvency proceedings. Click here to read more

Intellectual Property Protection work group

Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa (AmCham Latvia)
work group is currently focusing on amendments to the Copyright law concerning moral rights of the authors.

Tax Policy and Administration work group

Leaders: Vita Sakne (PwC), Aija Kļavinska (Deloitte), Baiba Strupiša (Irish Latvian Chamber of Commerce)
Tax work group are finalizing recommendations on different tax areas for the upcoming tax reform 2021, while also participating in Saeima Tax Policy Subcommittee of the Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee meetings to outline FICIL's viewpoint on the upcoming reform.

If you are interested in taking part in FICIL work groups, please sign up here

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Karlis Cerbulis, Senior Vice President of NCH Advisors, Inc.