Today, AmCham)and Foreign Investors' Council in Latvia (FICIL) held a live discussion wih Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of Latvia and investors Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Member of the Board at FICIL and Country Managing Partner and Chairperson of the Board at PwC Latvia, John Tully, Chairman of the Board of MikroTik and Morten Hansen, Head of Economics Department at SSE Riga and Deputy Chairman of Latvian Fiscal Discipline Council with focus on human resource development, digitization and competitiveness of Latvia, reforms in higher education, hard and soft infrastructure as well as tax system. The discussion was moderated by Kārlis Danēvičs, Member of the Board of SEB Banka.
Watch the entire discussion below:
According to the Prime Minister, "This is not a belt tightening crisis, we are investing into the economy. However, our national debt will go up. We are also planning to move through two big reforms: territorial reform and higher education reform. We have to stimulate economic recovery in three blocks: furlough payments, infrastructural investments and modernization." He added: "The green economy is absolutely the future for Latvia. There is also a huge potential in renewable energy, there is a demand in the world for those technologies."
Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Member of the Board at FICIL and Country Managing Partner and Chairperson of the Board at PwC Latvia emphasized that according to recent FICIL research 64% of foreign investors are not planning to increase investments due to COVID-19 crises. She added: "Higher education reform needs to go ahead without hesitation. The State Employment Agency should not only manage unemployment, but also focus on employed people upskilling to ensure most have necessary skills for job market."
The Prime Minister acknowledged the view of the investors to invest in reskilling and upskilling of workforce with an emphasis on digital and IT skills.
John Tully, Chairman of the Board of MikroTik pointed out that digital transformation and bioinformatics would be a significant contribution to the future and success of Latvia. Latvia has a good potential to develop IT and innovation sector in order to retain local IT professionals.