AmCham, as an Associate member of the Foreign Investors' Council in Latvia (FICIL), is invited to delegate its members to take part in the working groups aiming at proposing constructive recommendations to the government on a variety of issues.

FICIL is a business organization made up of the largest foreign investors in Latvia and 13 chambers of commerce. FICIL's mission is to improve the business environment and grow foreign investments in Latvia through an active dialogue with the government. Since 1999 FICIL meets annually with the Latvian government at a High Council meeting, providing expertise and recommendations on Latvia's economic development.

As a member of FICIL, AmCham invites its members to participate or continue taking part in the following working groups of FICIL:

Leader: Claudio Rivera (Riga Business School)
The work group met with the Chairman of the Education Committee in Saeima, Mr Arvils Ašeradens, and presented FICIL's recommendations regarding the necessary changes in the higher education system: higher education institution (HEI) governance model reform, consolidation of universities and a new law for HEI's. Next steps - presenting our ideas to the Parliament Members.

Food and Drink Industry
Leader: Nele Normak (Coca-Cola)
It is planned that the work group will cover topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, review planed policy initiatives regarding sweeteners, look at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction.

Economic and financial crime
Leader: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB)
This work group is continuing meetings with dynamic conversations on AML, corruption and bribery, financial sector reputational crisis and progress on insolvency proceedings. In light of these debates, the position paper is coming along in great strides.

Labour Force Issues
Leaders: Irina Kostina (Ellex Klavins) and Andris Lazdiņš (Ellex Klavins)
The work group held a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of Health and the Health Inspectorate to discuss the problems with the issuance and control of sick leaves in Latvia, as well as improving the EDS system.

Transport issues 
Leaders: William le Clere (French Foreign Trade Advisors)
The work group recently met with the Minister for Transport, Mr Tālis Linkaits, and spoke about large infrastructure projects, road quality in Latvia, governance of ports and rail transit and more. This meeting laid the ground for strong cooperation among FICIL and the Ministry.

Energy and Waste Management
Leader: Dace Cīrule (Deloitte)
The work group has several focal points for the position paper: repeal of OIK, deposit system, SUP and the National Energy and Climate plan. Food and Drinks Industry work group decided to contribute to the position paper regarding waste management and circular economy.

Leader: Baiba Apine (PwC)
The work group is continuing to draft recommendations. The main topics of FICIL's upcoming position paper include centralised registry and exchange of information as well as quality and usage of e-services.

Tax Policy and Administration
Leaders: Aija Kļavinska (Deloitte), Baiba Strupiša (Irish Latvian Chamber of Commerce)
Tax work group is working on issues related to tax administration and policy. The work group is closely following developments in Latvia's tax system and tax administration, and actively coming up with proposals for the State Reveneu Service on how to improve the business environment and investment climate through changes and improvements in tax system and/or administration. Predictable tax policy for business, tax administration and fight against shadow economy are top priorities for the work group.

Intellectual Property Protection
Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa (Cobalt)
Intellectual property protection work group reviews legislation related to intellectual property rights and gives its recommendation to the Latvian government for improvement of legal acts.

Leader: Ilze Kramiņa (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.

Investment Protection and Court Efficiency
Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The work group held a meeting recently to discuss the necessary improvements concerning the quality of legislation, the need for specialised commercial court and the International Monetary Fund's report on the progress of insolvency proceedings.

Healthcare Issues
Leader: Daina Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithCline)
Given that the healthcare system is an important topic for every entrepreneur, FICIL has established the Healthcare issues work group. The Healthcarre issues work group is looking at Healthcare Financing Law adopted in the end of last year.

If you would like to contribute your expertise to any of these working groups, please let us know by contacting Ieva Melngaile at: .

Please also let us know if you are a member of above mentioned working groups.

(Information last updated on February 28, 2019) 

A wide variety of programs, excellent networking opportunities, and thoughtful advocacy platforms.

Arnis Kākulis, AECOM Managing Director, Civil & Infrastructure, Baltic Region