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Newsletter

January 2022

 

Dear members,

We kicked off this year with an online meeting on diversity in the technology sector and a briefing on the upcoming Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Summit in Riga scheduled for June 20-21, 2022. 3SI is an important geopolitical tool aimed at bringing the Central Eastern European countries closer together. It brings promise to increase interconnectivity along the North-South corridor of the EU and offers vast economic opportunities for the development of cross-country infrastructure from roads, rail and tunnels to energy grid and a digital highway. For more information about 3SI investment fund, contact Altum, Latvia's counterpart of the 3SI Investment Fund.

On March 10, AmCham will be holding its AGM. We welcome new candidates for the Board! If you feel committed to driving positive change in Latvia's business environment and would like to join our leadership team, this opportunity may be for you. Please consider yourself for candidacy or encourage other suitable candidates to stand for election. Feel free to contact me with further questions.

This January members met to discuss priorities for the labor force and healthcare work group agenda for 2022. We are also looking into other issues including balancing tax burden for foreign investors and the new lobbying regulation. If you would like to join any of the existing work groups or discuss another policy issue you would like to consider for AmCham to undertake, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

I invite you to check AmCham's calendar for the next weeks with many important meetings and informative discussions. Hit the links below to sign up!

Wishing you a productive and healthy February,

Liga Smildzina-Bertulsone
Executive Director

 
 

SAVE THE DATE

 
 
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Feb 02, 2022 (15:00-16:00) - Reviewing new lobbying regulation. Read more

 
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Mar 11, 2022 (13:00-14:00) - Upcoming changes in education system in Latvia. Read more

 
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Feb 04, 2022 (14:00-15:00) - Is there life after Omicron?. Read more

 
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Feb 08, 2022 (13:00-17:00) - Pan-Baltic webinar on Trade Secrets: Protecting & Enforcing IPR. Read more

 
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Feb 10, 2022 (10:00-11:00) - Prime Minister outlines plans for post-pandemic development. Read more

 
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Feb 22, 2022 (15:30-16:30) - Overview of recent healthcare projects and priorities. Read more

 
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Mar 10, 2022 (15:00-16:00) - AmCham reviews last year activities and elects board. Read more

 
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Apr 01, 2022 (08:00-19:30) - Spotlight Latvia takes place in L.A.. Read more

 

 
 

PAST EVENTS

 
 

Introduction to Three Seas Initiative Summit and Business Forum in Riga

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On January 26, AmCham held an introductory webinar with prominent speakers representing the Atlantic Council, ALTUM, 3SIIF Investment Fund and others about the priorities of the upcoming Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Riga’s Summit and the progress made so far as well as to discuss the main advantages of funding and obtain practical tips from an investee in Estonia, Greenergy.  Read more

Empowering women in the digital world

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Our first Connect with AmCham webinar of 2022 focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and ways to build a more inclusive culture for women in the ICT sector. The webinar was joined by two inspiring women Anna Andersone, Chief Empowering Officer at Riga TechGirls and Alda Zeila, Inclusion and Diversity Lead at Accenture who shared best practices of empowering women to start their journey in the digital world. Read more

 

Board approves targets for 2022

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The AmCham Board held its semi-annual retreat to discuss the strategic direction for 2022. Among key priority areas remain fostering trade and investment between Latvia and the U.S. and raising awareness of economic opportunities between our countries, improving the business and investment climate in Latvia, getting prepared for the future of work and improving health outcomes of Latvia's society. The Board meets twice a year outside its monthly meetings for a focused, strategic session to set the future direction and review the Chamber's performance. Read more

State of American Business 2022

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On January 11, the U.S. Chamber’s Annual State of American Business brought together business leaders, lawmakers, and policy experts to discuss how competition will drive business in 2022. The U.S. Chamber focused on the competition for talent in a transforming workforce, the fast-changing global economy and 2022 midterm elections. The keynote speech was delivered by President and CEO Suzanne Clark and special guests Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla and UPS CEO Carol Tomé who discussed innovations and smart solutions that will move the U.S. forward. Read more

 

Update and priority setting for Labor Force work group

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Members of the Labor Force work group gathered for the first meeting of 2022 to discuss vaccination certificates and vaccination for 3rd country nationals, the draft Immigration law and latest activities in the FICIL's joint Labor and Education work group. The group also touched upon the STEAM Lyceum project. Read more

Discussing top healthcare issues for 2022

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On January 11, the Healthcare work group members met for the first meeting of 2022 to look back on the progress of 6 pilot projects in 2021. The group will focus on the following priorities in 2022: Sustainable healthcare financing model and Value-based healthcare approach. The group will support other ongoing projects when necessary. Read more

 
 

NEW MEMBERS

 
 

Mars Latvia joins membership

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Mars Latvia, a part of Mars, Inc. and a global, family-owned business, which produces confectionery, pet food, and other food products, has joined the Chamber as a Corporate Contributing member. The company owns some of the best-known brands in the world - M&M's®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, WHISKAS and more. We warmly welcome Mars Latvia to AmCham! Read more

Vigo Health becomes a member

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Vigo Health, a digital therapeutics platform for stroke survivors that helps stroke survivors recover faster and more effectively using digitally accessible therapies, has joined the Chamber as a Small Business member. Vigo's mission is to become the worldwide leader in stroke rehabilitation by making it more accessible and less expensive. A warm welcome to the AmCham community! Read more

 

Mikelis Skudra joins AmCham

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Mikelis Skudra, an Officer in Latvian National Armed Forces, has joined the Chamber as an Individual member. He has graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Civil Engineering. He was commanding Latvian Special Forces contingent in the NATO mission in Afghanistan from October 2020 to May 2021. Welcome, Mikelis! Read more

 
 

MEMBER ISSUES

 
 

Take our business confidence survey

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Ahead of the Annual General Meeting we are conducting an express business confidence survey to assess your confidence levels for the coming year. It will only take a couple minutes of your time. Your input will be very helpful.  Read more

Join our health insurance program

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Are you interested to join our health insurance program yourself or with your team? If you haven't arranged it yet, we offer to join the combined list of AmCham staff, small member companies and individual members. To find out more and join the program, please contact Ieva Melngaile at: amcham@amcham.lv. Read more

 
 

NEWS

 
 

MikroTik and LMT introduce new powerful router

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Recently MikroTik and LMT have developed, an ultimate home AP with ultra-fast LTE/5G support, the "Chateau" 5G that has become the No.1 router choice among LMT network users. It is a high-speed, dual-band home access point for really fast Internet anywhere, anytime. According to MikroTik's CEO, "5G network availability can enable innovations in many areas, such as science, medicine, education, business, and more." Read more

Novartis recognized as the Family Friendly Employer

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At the end of 2021, Novartis was recognized as the Family Friendly Employer in Latvia. The aim of the “Family-Friendly Workplace” initiative implemented by the Society Integration Fund is to promote the development of a work environment culture in Latvia that is empathetic, humane and understandable, while offering tools for both the assessment of the existing work environment and financial assistance in implementing various support measures for employees. Read more

 

WFFL elects new leadership

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At the end of 2021, the Board of the World Federation of Free Latvians (WFFL) elected Pēteris Blumbergs as a Chairman and Mārtiņš Andersons as Vice Chairman. Both positions carry two-year terms. Thus, in 2022-2023, two U.S. born and raised Latvians who are well known in their local communities will lead the main umbrella organization for the world Latvian diaspora. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with WFFL under the new leadership. Read more

Baltic Economic Outlook by Citadele

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According to Macro Oultook of Citadele Bank, while the pandemic is not over, the economic recovery in the Baltics in 2021 has been significantly faster than in other European countries, and less than two years after the start of the pandemic, all three Baltic States have exceeded previous GDP levels. Meanwhile, GDP in the euro area as a whole is still 0.3% lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Citadele's Economist Mārtiņš Āboliņš, this shows both the flexibility and ability of entrepreneurs to adapt to the new situation and the importance of state support. However, the economic recovery is uneven and large-scale global economic support measures are increasingly contributing to rising prices. Read more

 

600 students participate in RBS 30th Anniversary Quiz

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More than 600 motivated high school students from all over Latvia spent four Saturdays participating in the Anniversary Quiz to honor the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of full diplomatic relations between Latvia and the U.S., Riga Business School and the U.S. Embassy in Latvia. Five students with the best results received prizes from U.S. Ambassador John Carwile and RBS Director Jānis Grēviņš. Read more

IQVIA White Paper: Switching On the Lights

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IQVIA has released a White Paper “Switching On the Lights - Benchmarking digital health systems across EMEA” exploring 12 elements that make up a digital health system and scoring countries throughout EMEA in order to create a numerical benchmark on the digital maturity of their health systems. IQVIA has surveyed experts to assign maturity scores to countries so they can be compared quantitatively, allowing them to highlight general trends. Read more

 

Latvia - part of semiconductor production supply chain?

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Latvia has every ingredient necessary to become a hub for semiconductor production. According to Labs of Latvia, 13 organizations, including AmCham members MikroTik, SAF Tehnika and LightSpace Technologies, could lay the groundwork and provide the skills, knowledge, and talent for semiconductor production. With a variety of skill sets, technical know-how, specialized premises, already in place, Latvia proves to have high potential. It is an environment where scaling semiconductor production is not only possible but also likely to yield high returns due to the lower cost of operations in the region coupled with ever-growing global demand. With plans in motion and interested parties already approached, any additional interested investors and global partners are invited to speak to LIAA about participating in this high-returns investment opportunity. Read more

airBaltic carries 21% more passengers in 2021

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Latvian airline airBaltic in 2021 has carried 1 628 000 passengers or 21% more than the year before. In 2021, the airline performed 23 440 flights from all three Baltic states. In 2021, airBaltic continued its expansion in the Baltics by launching 15 new routes. In 2022 airBaltic will open a new base in Tampere, Finland to ensure even more connectivity opportunities in the Nordic region. Read more

 

BAFF program welcomes new applicants

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The Baltic-American Freedom Foundation is announcing call for applications for their Baltic-American Dialogue Program. All Baltic NGOs, public institutions, universities, chambers panning to invite lecturers or experts from the U.S. for the events and projects taking place from June 1, 2022 till January 31, 2023, are welcome to submit their applications by February 1, 2022. Read more

Become an ambassador of responsible business

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CSR Latvia announces an open call for the 9th Responsible business ambassadors program, designed to cover all topics pertaining to CSR and sustainability, targeted for both companies and entrepreneurs. Apply for the program to find out how to implement sustainability in business. So far the program has been completed by 80 representatives from 40 companies who generated 52 sustainability initiatives. The program starts on February 10, 2022. Apply HERE by February 4, 2022! Read more

 

Latest activities of FICIL work groups

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FICIL, one of AmCham's closest advocacy partners, has prepared a short overview on the latest work group activities. You are invited to take part in one of its many working groups. The following WGs have scheduled their meetings for the next month: digitalization, green economy development, labor & requalification as well as transport and infrastructure. Sign up for FICIL work groups here! Read more

 
 

MEMBER OFFERS

 
 
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Valentine's Day offer from Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel. Read more

 
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Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga is back with Sunday branches served once a month from 12:30 until 16:00. The closest one on February 13, 2022 - St. Valentine's Brunch. Read more

 
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Hotel Bergs offers a special rental price for their conference room Glass Hall and a restaurant hall on the 1st floor. Read more

 
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