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Human capital as key for economic growth

Nov 01, 2023 from 10:00 till 14:00
The Baltic Hall, Saeima

On November 1, the Saeima Economic, Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Policy Committee and AmCham Latvia organized a conference "Human Capital As Key For Economic Growth" at the Hall of the Baltic Way of the Saeima to discuss ways to promote investments in Latvia’s human capital in order to accelerate the growth of the national economy.

Experts from a wide range of sectors discussed how various policy areas, including economy, employment, education, health, and welfare contribute to the development of human capital. In the current demographic and geopolitical environment, the promotion of strategic investments in human capital is needed to ensure Latvia’s economic security and prosperity.

The conference was opened by Skaidrite Abrama, Chair of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee of the Saeima and John Tully, AmCham President, CEO of MikroTik.

In his speech, AmCham President and CEO of MikroTik John Tully emphasized the importance of human capital: "Our goal is to improve the business and investment climate in order to retain and attract high-value investments in Latvia. Since one of the most critical issues investors are facing is the availability of labor force, AmCham has been focusing on strengthening the human capital through various policy areas, namely, employment, education and health. In the current geopolitical environment, strategic investment in human capital is key in ensuring Latvia’s economic security and accelerating future growth. We are delighted to engage in an open dialogue with Latvian policymakers on what steps should be taken to reach a holistic view on the development of Latvia’s human capital."

Keynote presentations will be delivered by:

  • Olegs Krasnopjorovs, Chief Economist at the Bank of Latvia on "Human capital as the key to economic development"
  • Dr. Janez Poklukar, Member of the Prime Minister's strategic council for health care of Slovenia on "Adoption of the Law on investments in the Slovenian healthcare system"
  • Ilona Butane, Partner, Tax Advisory, EY Latvia on "Migration of workforce – risks and opportunities"
  • Sergejs Batjuskovs, Senior Manager, Tax Advisory, EY Latvia on "Migration of workforce – risks and opportunities"

Olegs Krasnopjorovs, Chief Economist, the Latvijas Banka, Monetary Policy Department Deputy Director spoke on the importance of healthcare system and the quantity of human capital in Latvia that is likely to decrease further according to all scenarios: "Combatting excess mortality in the working age to the level recorded in advanced EU countries can save 4000 lives every year. If healthcare system would have improved already in the beginning of 2000-ties, Latvian population today would be larger by 60 thousand people, there would be by 40 thousand more employees and by 4% bigger Gross Domestic Product."

Dr. Janez Poklukar, Member of the Prime Minister's Strategic Council for Healthcare of Slovenia shared the best example from Slovenia on the adoption of the Law on investments in the Slovenian healthcare system: "Implementation of sustainable investment practices in healthcare systems can be a very challenging and complex task, however, Slovenia’s experience has attested to the value that brings to our patients and the society-at-large.”

Presentation of Ilona Butane, Partner, Tax Advisory, EY Latvia and Sergejs Batjuškovs, Senior Manager, Tax Advisory, EY Latvia focused on workforce mobility, shortage, talent attraction and retention that coincide with the attraction of foreign investments. According to Ilona Butane, improved immigration process, R&D incentives, tax incentives to reduce labor costs may positively impact not only attraction of highly qualified staff, but also foreign investments.

It will include two-panel discussions each followed by a questions and answers session:

  • How does investment in health contribute to economic development?
  • How does employment affect economic development?

The first panel featured the following experts:

  • Alise Krumina, AmCham Healthcare WG Lead and Healthcare System Partner at Roche Latvija 
  • Karina Ploka, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Finance 
  • Dr. Janez Poklukar, Member of the Prime Minister's Strategic Council for Healthcare of Slovenia 
  • Artjoms Ursulskis, Parliamentary Secretary at the Minister of Health

The second panel discussion was joined by the following experts:

  • Parsla Basko, Chief People Officer, Printful 
  • Ilona Butane, Partner, Tax Advisory Services, EY Latvia 
  • Vladimir Janevski, Managing Director of McDonald’s Baltics
  • Viktors Valainis, Minister of Economy of Latvia 
  • Zane Varpina, Associate Professor at SSE Riga, Demography expert 

The conference and panel discussions were moderated by Pauls Miklasevics, AmCham Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at BluOr Bank.




Photo credit: Saeima

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VA Government Rud Pedersen Group


We re-affirm our commitment to the values that AmCham stands for and that we share.

Kārlis Danēvičs, Board member, Head of Credits and Risk at SEB Banka

Membership is an attestation that we belong to the modern Latvian business community.

Dace Silava-Tomsone, Managing Partner, COBALT