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WEEK 27th 2004

Friday, the 2nd of July, 2004

Plan 150 million euros for acquisition of the EU funds
It is planned to provide approximately EUR 150.375 million in next year's budget for acquisition of finances from EU funds. Latvian PM Indulis Emsis said that this is Latvian co-financing, therefore, in general in 2005 it is possible to implement projects for EUR 451.127 million. It will be a good contribution into the development of the national economy.

Crediting and financial market grew thanks to foreigners
The principle of the “open license” gave an opportunity for crediting and financial institutions from all 25 EU member-states to work in Latvia. After May 1, 2004, 74 enterprises expressed their wish to provide their services in Latvia, among them 14 banks, 34 insurance companies and others. More than the half of them, 45, are from the UK. There are also 10 companies from Germany, five from Austria and four from Ireland.

Thursday, the 1st of July, 2004

Our life is nearly twice cheaper than European
Life in Latvia is cheaper than in most European countries, according to the research of the statistical bureau Eurostat. It compared the prices of food products, drinks and tobacco products in 2003 in different countries, making a list of the countries with most expensive products. As a result, Latvia is on 26th place. These goods are cheaper only in Bulgaria, Rumania, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. In average the price of food products in Latvia constitutes 60% of their average price in Europe. However, the price of alcohol is 93% of the average European.

“Baltic Tiger” continues his way up
According to the forecasts of Latvijas Unibanka, in the near future the speed of economic growth in the Baltic States will exceed the average European growth in three times. However, the level of inflation will be high, too. Most probably Latvia will be the leader in both indexes. Unibanka also predicts that soon the decrease in prices will begin.

Wednesday, the 30th of June, 2004

Want to develop machine building
Representatives of Latvian Investments and Development Agency take part in a business forum in Stutgart, Germany, where they plan to discuss opportunities to increase export of Latvian goods in machine building sector. They are going to meet the representatives of German, Czech and French enterprises. At present Latvia mostly exports these kinds of goods to Germany, Lithuania, Estonia and Scandinavian countries. In 2003 the amount of exported goods was EUR 225 thousand.
Dienas Bizness

Europe is the most attractive for investments
According to the research 'European Attractiveness 2004' made by the auditing company Ernst&Young, Europe remains the most attractive region for investors. In 2003 it attracted more than a half of all the foreign investments. As for Latvia, it is not so attractive. Less than 1% of investors included it into the list of the target states.

Tuesday, the 29th of June, 2004

Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia are the first ones to make a big step for introducing euros
Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia are the first countries among 10 new EU-member-states, which have already joined Currency Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II). It is the obligatory condition for joining the euro-zone. However, the countries do not know the definite date of introducing euros. Latvia could be involved in ERM II soon after lat is attracted to euro on January 1, 2005.

Monday, the 28th of June, 2004

Who has the most solid salaries?
In the first quarter of 2003 people engaged in the spheres of air transport, communications and financial mediation received the highest salaries in Latvia, EUR 523, EUR 488 and EUR 481 respectively. People who work in the fields of culture, sport, repair and rest receive EUR 169 per month in average. The employees of hotels and restaurants have EUR 139, fishermen earn EUR 138. In general the average salary in public sector is EUR 230, and in private sector EUR 196.

Foreign trade in Latvia grows faster than in the EU
In the first three month of the current year the growth of the foreign trade in Latvia was one of the biggest among the EU-countries, according to Eurostat. The amount of Latvian export during the first quarter of 2003 was EUR 0.7 billion, which is by 15% more than during the same period of 2002. Only Estonia and Slovakia experienced the bigger growth, by 20% and 18% respectively. The amount of import in Latvia grew by 16% and reached EUR 1.2 billion.

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