We are very pleased to be part of AmCham and are looking forward to driving innovation forward in Latvia.
Mikko Fernström, General Manager, Biogen Latvia
AmCham as an Associate member of the Foreign Investors' Council in Latvia (FICIL), including a number of our members, is actively involved in its working groups aiming at proposing constructive recommendations to the government on a wide variety of issues.
March has been a busy month for most of our working groups getting to the bottom of the issues that will be flagged up to the Government during the annual High Council (HC) meeting on 25 and 26 May.
The preparations for the upcoming HC meeting are well under way. The key theme for the HC meeting this year will be "DO!". Since there are several important reforms that have been undertaken by the Government since the last HC meeting in 2016, FICIL would like to recognize these efforts, acknowledge the positive examples and encourage the Government to be brave and keep delivering on the reforms.
All the active FICIL work groups are currently busy working on the first drafts of their position papers. This involves heavy work from each and every work group member contributing and commenting on the first drafts but most of all from the leaders of the work groups in putting together the draft positions. Please note that there is still an opportunity for you to shape the substance of the position paper and recommendations by your active participation in the work group.
Energy and waste management work group
It is becoming a tradition that the Energy and waste work group meets every Monday afternoon in the E&Y office. In March, three work group meetings took place - on 13, 20 and 27 March. The members of the work group have submitted their proposals which are compiled by the leader of the work group. The work group is close to finalize the position paper.
Tax policy and administration work group
Members of the Tax issues work group met on 14 March; key issues on the agenda were the planned changes in the tax system in Latvia. Members of the work group are following closely all the discussions related to the reform, including, participating in meetings with the Ministry of Finance and expressing FICIL's position and concerns and discussing the changes with other stakeholders and business organisations.
Transport issues work group
Transport work group met on 7 March to discuss the meeting with the Transport Ministry earlier this year. During the meeting work group members outlined issues worth highlighting in the position paper. The next work group meeting is scheduled on 11 April at 15:00. Venue: KPMG, Vesetas 7. Please register for the meeting here.
Labour force issues work group
Members of the FICIL Labour (legal) work group met on 6 March to present in detail to the FICIL membership the draft amendments to the Labour Law. Many of the amendments are originating in FICIL's Position Paper 2015 and 2016. The work group will follow closely the further legislative process and next steps regarding the amendments.
To raise the FICIL's concerns on challenges to attract third country labour force to Latvian job market, FICIL representatives attended the Parliament's respective committee on 28 March. During the meeting with the MP's the Labour group leader flagged FICIL's concerns to the members of the Parliament.
Construction work group
The Construction work group held a meeting on 30 March. During the meeting work group members raised few issues in the Construction legislation, including the new legislative amendments proposed by the Ministry of Economy on responsibility and newly adopted changes to the Law on Residential Properties.
Insolvency law issues work group
Leaders of the FICIL Insolvency w/g met with representatives of Latvian Association of Commercial Banks to discuss the progress in strengthening the supervision of Insolvency administrators. It was agreed to strengthen the cooperation in order to achieve a faster progress towards a real change in the system.
Representatives of the FICIL work group met the new Director of the Insolvency Administration and discussed the top priorities of focus of the Administration and cooperation with FICIL. The next work group meeting is scheduled on 6 April at 16:00. Venue: FICIL Office, Strelnieku street 1-3. Please register for the meeting here.
Education work group
The next Education work group meeting will take place on 6 April 2017 at 13:30. Venue: Riga Business School, Skolas street 11, Riga. Please register for the meeting here.
Key point of the agenda - discussion about the key items for the 2017 Position Paper on Education.
If you are interested in participating in the work of any of the work groups or would like to have more information, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
To sign up for working groups and read more, please click here.
AmCham is an invaluable resource that keeps us up to date with business issues and opportunities.
Mantautas Paskevicius, Country Manager of Strategic Staffing Solutions International