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WEEK 42nd 2004

Friday, the 15th of October, 2004

Latvia is the leader in GDP growth
In the second quarter of 2004 Latvia experienced impetuous GDP growth in comparison with the same period of 2003. It was 7.7%, according to Eurostat. Lithuania is on the second place, as its GDP increased by 7.4%. In Poland this index is 6.1%, and in Estonia 5.9%.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Sakret opens a factory in Stopinu parish
On October 15 in Ritvari, Stopinu parish, a new plant for producing construction materials was opened by the company Sakret. The investments into the factory constituted EUR 4.2 million. In 2005 the company plans to reach the turnover EUR 3.07 million. It is possible to produce 110 thousand tons of dry packs for construction per year. The local raw materials will be used for the production.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Thursday, the 14th of October, 2004

Latvia’s competitiveness in the world reduces
According to the annual competitiveness report, in which 104 countries are examined, Latvian competitiveness decreased: it went down by seven places in comparison with the previous year. Now the country is on 44th place, leaving behind only two EU-states, Poland and Italy. It is mentioned in the report that the main development obstacles for Latvia are corruption, bureaucracy and ineffective tax legislation. In technological development sphere Latvia occupies 36th place, but in the public sector it has only 52nd place. In all the ratings Latvia is behind Estonia and Lithuania. In the competitiveness report other Baltic countries have 20th and 36th places accordingly.

Norwegians to create 5-7 thousands vacancies in Latvia
The vice-director of Latvian Investments and Development Agency, Andris Ozols, announced that in five years Norwegian businessmen may create approximately 5,000-7,000 vacancies in Latvia. Production expenses in Norway are very high, which is why the entrepreneurs are looking for the markets with cheaper labour force. The Baltic States have many advantages in this sense: cheap and qualified labour force, low production expenses and favourable geographical location. Norwegian businessmen express much interest to shifting production of block and wooden houses to Latvia.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Tuesday, the 12th of October 2004

Businessmen see perspectives in Central Asia
The visit of Latvian President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, to Kazakhstan, gave a positive impulse to the collaboration of the businessmen of both countries. During the Kazakh-Latvian business forum nearly all of the participants established new contacts with the potential partners. They admit that thanks to the agreement signed between two countries and governmental support, all the business problems will be solved at the highest level.
Dienas Bizness

Swedoor begins expansion
One of the largest door producers in Europe, West-Wood Group, wants to re-divide the Latvian market and to gain its large share. Business development director of West-Wood Group in Central and Eastern Europe, Jan Hylen, announced that the company, which produces Swedoor doors, plans to fight actively for the leading role in the door production sector. The aim is to create a chain, so that any Latvian consumer would not have to go for more than 50 km in order to buy Swedoor doors.
Dienas Bizness

Monday, the 11th of October, 2004

Inflation champions
For the first time during the last months the inflation level in Latvia was not the highest one among the Baltic States. According to the Central Statistical Bureau data, in September 2004 the prices grew by 0.4% in comparison with August. Lithuania became the inflation leader last month with 0.6%. However, Latvia anyway has the highest year’s inflation, which is 7.7%. In September 2004 maximal growth in prices was in higher education, 8.2%, and foreign languages courses, 12.7%.
Bizness & Baltija

See broad opportunities
Approximately 200 French entrepreneurs and 15 Latvian businessmen attended business contacts forum in France. The French expressed great interest in investigating business opportunities in Latvia. In November 21-26 French Enterprises Union, MEDEF, plans to organize the first trip of French businessmen to the Baltic States. At present they are not satisfied with the business contacts with Latvia, as there is lack of information about the country in France. Among the positive sides of closer collaboration the French mention good education of Latvians, their openness to new ideas and knowledge of languages, which facilitates contacts with Russia and other CIS countries.
Dienas Bizness

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