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WEEK 19th. 2004

Friday, the 7th of May, 2004

Inflation or development?
The Convergence Programme prepared by the Ministry of Finance of Latvia stipulates that the budget deficit in Latvia will not exceed Maastricht criteria (3% of GDP). The experts forecast that in 2006 this index will be 2% of GDP, in 2007 2.1% and in 2008 2.2%. However, the representative of the Bank of Latvia, Valentina Zeile, believes that there will be not budget deficit in Latvia by 2007.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Thursday, the 6th of May, 2004

EU money will be deported
The Ministry of Economy of Latvia changed the criteria, which are obligatory for the companies for receiving the finances from the EU. The liquidity coefficient is decreased to 0.9, and the proportion of own capital in the total sum of assets could be 0.15. Besides, the businessmen will be able to receive money part by part, not only after the complete implementation of the project. The general director of Latvian Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Janis Leja, said that in the acquisition of funds large and stable companies should have privileges. During the preparation of the project it is not obligatory to submit the year's report, it will be enough if the report for half a year or for four months is submitted.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Wednesday, the 5th of May, 2004

Not possible to enumerate
After Latvia joined the EU, many changes in legislation and economy came into effect. From May 1 the excise tax for petroleum increased to the minimal EU level. As a result, the price grew by LVL 0.045 in average. There are no more customs points at the Latvian borders with Estonia and Lithuania. The owners of the carriers have to pay more for receiving the obligatory insurance. The traders and importers of cars have to pay tax for natural resources, which amount is LVL 22 (EUR 32.88) for every sold machine. The businessmen have to declare the amount of agricultural goods and sugar, which they have as of May 1, in order to prevent speculations. It is forbidden now to sell beer from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. 5% VAT is applied to the medicine and medical services.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

2005 will be the period of flourishing of economy
The Minister of Economy of Latvia, Juris Lujans, believes that 2005 could become the most successful year in this decade in Latvia. The macroeconomic indexes will increase, the country will experience flow of investments, and the amount of small and medium enterprises will increase, too. In 2004 the growth of GDP could reach 8%, and by 2010 will constitute 52% of the average European GDP (now it is only 35%). The experts think that Latvia can reach the level of European welfare in 13-15 years, if the country will use EU resources rationally. Till 2007 Latvia will remain one of the cheapest countries of the EU.

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