|WEEK 21st 2004
Friday, the 21st of May, 2004
State will lose its attractiveness
Many Latvian businessmen think that if the same corporate income tax is introduced in all the EU territory, Latvia will not be attractive for the foreign investors. EU Trade Commissioner, Pascal Lami, stands for the same tax rate in the EU; he thinks that otherwise tax discrimination takes place. At present Latvia has the second lowest corporate income tax in the EU, 15%.
Thursday, the 20th of May, 2004
State debt exceeds billion lats
In April 2004 Latvian state debt increased by LVL 212.65 million (EUR 321.223 million) and reached the recordly high amount, LVL 1.055 billion (EUR 1.593 billion). According to the information of the State Treasury, it happened because of the emission of 10-years eurobonds for LVL 400 million (EUR 604.229 million). Latvia's foreign debt grew by LVL 256.9 million (EUR 388.066 million), to LVL 668.562 million (EUR 1.009 billion). Inner debt reduced by LVL 44.28 million (EUR 66.888 million), to LVL 386.94 million (EUR 584.501 million).
Wednesday, the 19th of May, 2004
Threats to business
The new regulations on authors' rights, passed by the Latvian government in hurry, can promote the increase of price of some data carriers, destroy the conditions of honest competition and influence the economic situation in the country in general. The new regulations came into effect on May 1, 2004. Because of them the price of empty CDs could grow by 50%, and the price of separate data carriers by 200%. They will also influence the price of the hard disks, which capacity exceeds 3 Mb.
Will alleviate tax burden
According to the proposal of Latvian Ministry of Finance, the taxable minimum should be increased. It is planned to increase it little by little up to LVL 70 (EUR 105.74) in 2010; at present it is LVL 21 (EUR 31.72). It will constitute half of the planned minimal salary at that time. The first increase is expected in 2005.
Tuesday, the 18th of May, 2004
Unemployment is 9%
On May 1, 2004, 96 thousand unemployed were registered in Latvia. It is 9% of economically active population. In the same month of the previous year this index was 8.8%. 58% of the unemployed are women. The highest unemployment level is in Ludzas district, 28.8%. Only 42% of all the unemployed had rights to receive the allowances, which average amount is LVL 56.02 per month (EUR 84.62).
Monday, the 17th of May, 2004
Latvia is the second cheapest country for business
Latvia is the second cheapest EU-country for business development after Lithuania. According to the research, conducted for the company DHL, hotels, taxi, translation services and renting cars are the cheapest in Latvia in comparison with other EU-countries. However, the payments for communication services, Internet and phone, is just record-breaking.
Baltic Weekly MonitorA