Observer Latvija SIA
WEEK 1st 2004.

Tuesday, the 30th of December, 2003

Decide to transform Development Agency
The government has decided to transform Latvian Development Agency into Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIDA) in order to increase the volume of the foreign investments in the economy. The tasks of LIDA will include to identify competitive projects, to foster development of new investment projects and to develop suggestions to the state programs to support private businessmen. In this way the government hopes to increase the volume of foreign investments up to LVL 25 million on average annually, and increase the exports of the National Development Plan's priority industries by 10 percent and to decrease the negative balance of foreign trade.
(Dienas Bizness)

Latvia's development connect with EU
It is intended to maintain the rapid GDP growth and the low level of inflation in 2004, however, the Minister of Finance, Valdis Dombrovskis, believes that if the EU economy will not experience a rise, it may have a negative impact on the development of Latvia. The Ministry of Finance anticipates that this year the GDP growth will be 6.5 percent, whereas in the nearest years the GDP growth will reach 6 percent. The Minster of Economy, Juris Lujans, gives a more positive forecast. He states that the GDP growth this year will be 7.5 percent to 7.8 percent, and the GDP increase in 2004 will not be less than 7 percent. Both ministers anticipate inflation to be approximately 3 percent in the coming years. The budget deficit in 2003 will be lower than the planed 3 percent of the GDP. Mr. Dombrovskis believes that the budget deficit in 2004 will not exceed 2 percent of the GDP. The current account deficit is anticipated to be 8.9 percent of GDP in 2003. The Minister of Finance believes that the same could be true also in 2004.
(Dienas Bizness)

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