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WEEK 18th. 2004

Friday, the 30th of April, 2004

Latvia has new ratings
The international rating agency Fitch Ratings has given new maximal ratings for all the new EU member-states. These ratings are two grades higher than before. Latvia has A rating (earlier it was BBB+). It will let the private companies to receive higher credit ratings than the country has in general. Lithuania also has A rating, while Estonia has A-. After the introduction of euros the rating of the new member-states could be increased to AAA.
Dienas Bizness

IMF: Latvia has to decrease deficit
The experts of the International Monetary Foundation during their meeting
with the Minister of Finance, Oskars Spurdzins, said that overheating of the
economy does not threaten Latvia. However, the country should have the lower
level of the budget deficit. The Bank of Latvia has similar opinion.

Wednesday, the 28th of April, 2004

Latvian economy is more competitive than Portuguese
The research conducted by the International Economic Forum shows that Latvia is on 16th place among the European countries according to its economic competitiveness. The country is between Slovenia (15th place) and Portugal (17th place). However, among the EU candidate-countries Latvia is on 3rd
place. Estonia is the first one, Slovenia is the second. Latvia also has good indexes in liberalization of the economy and development of the business environment. The experts say that the level of the EU competitiveness is lower than in the USA.

Monday, the 26th of April, 2004

Research: com panies do not think of innovations
Small and medium enterprises pay little attention to introducing innovations, according to the research by Latvijas Tehnologiskais Centrs. 168 companies out of 300 interrogated enterprises do not have information about scientific research institutions, and this is one of the most important obstacles for using innovations. 85 companies said that the main reason is passive attitude of these institutions, 62 mentioned very high price of services, while 88 companies think that cooperation with them is not necessary. The most part of the interrogated enterprises do not conduct scientific works and do not buy scientific elaborations.

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