On June 2, Swedbank hosted Business After Hours for AmCham members engaging them in a discussion about high inflation and other challenges that our economy is currently facing such as energy prices, disruption of the global supply chain, wage growth, and broad-based government support. Members enjoyed both excellent wine and food as well as an excellent panorama view of Riga from the 25th floor of Swedbank HQ building.
The event was opened by Lauris Mencis, CEO of Swedbank of Latvia who emphasized the three main components of whole-hearted living - courage, compassion, and connection.
According to Agnese Buceniece, Acting Chief Economist of Swedbank Latvia, the Baltic countries are caught in terrible crosswinds. While most of the pandemic-induced economic woes have been left behind, the countries are facing another exceptional shock – a war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia. She explained that the reasons for high inflation are caused by the pandemic, weather and geopolitics. Although Baltic trade links with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are neither strong nor vital, the economic effects will be noticeable. Even higher inflation, a loss of confidence, a decline in some investments and some exports are likely to cause GDP growth to decline sharply to around 1.5% this year.
We are grateful to Swedbank for hosting such an educational and informative event with an opportunity to network, meet fellow members and enjoy the time together.