Observer Latvija SIA
WEEK 9th. 2004

Thursday, the 26th of February, 2004

Hope to ensure businesswomen with special credit line
Two credit lines for EUR 2 million will be available in Mortgage Banka and Hansabanka in frames of businesswomen support programme for 5 years. These credits do not differ much from the usual ones. Though it is possible to receive the loans on more favourable conditions. The sum of the loan will be approximately 85% of the pledge, and the interest rate will be from 2.75% to 4.25% plus 6-month LIBOR rate. Nordic Investment Bank and Council of Europe Development Bank had provided the finances for these credit lines.
(Diena)

Wednesday, the 25th of February, 2004

Baltic is ahead of Europe
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe anticipate the largest growth in Europe to be in the Eastern Europe and the CIS in 2004. Latvia will have the largest growth of 6 to 7 per cent in the Baltic States followed by Lithuania and then by Estonia.
(Dienas Bizness)

Plan to have 7 to 10 per cent annual growth of industry
On February 24th the government approved the Basic Theses for Industry’s Development in Latvia. It includes basic guidelines, aims and priorities of the state policy for fostering competitiveness of the industry’s sector from 2004 till 2013. Till March 31, a short middle term activities plan to achieve the goals should be developed. Following goals were set forward: to develop the sectors of industry that are based on knowledge and scientific achievements, increase productivity in traditional industries and modernize them, increase the importance of scientific investigations, higher and professional education, increase qualification and attract highly qualified human resources, improve business climate, enter new markets and increase utilization efficacy of the resources. If all of the goals will be achieved the annual growth of the industry should be 7 to 10 per cent and the current productivity of 25 per cent of the average level of the EU should reach 40 per cent in 2010. Moreover, the specific weight of IT products in Latvian exports should amount to 10 per cent instead of the current 5 per cent.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Tuesday, the 24th of February, 2004

We are expecting growth of GDP
According to the bank HSH Nordbank, the GDP in Latvia will increase by 6.3 per cent this year and it will the largest GDP growth among the Baltic States. Nevertheless, the bank predicts 5.8 per cent GDP increase for Latvia in 2005 and it will be the lowest among the Baltic States. HSH Nordbank points out that after harmonization of the national legislation with the requirements of the EU the volume of the direct investments in the Baltic States will increase due to more advantageous taxes.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Monday, the 23rd February, 2004

Have spent 166.6 million lats on privatisation
LVL 166.6 million have been invested in the privatisation of state property. It is 1.66 times more than the minimal sum indicated in the rules. The current number of employees at the former state-owned companies exceeds the number previously agreed with investors. The new owners were obliged to provide work to not less than 47,664 people, however, 56,646 people are working in these companies at the moment. 1,006 state properties are completely privatised. They were sold for LVL 772.6 million, 16.7 per cent of the sum was paid in lats, whereas the rest – in certificates.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Applications for the end of April
In the end of the last week, the magazine Karjera organized the traditional meeting of entrepreneurs and officials. The problems of the Latvian business in the EU and the possible solutions were discussed. The director of the Latvian Development and Investment Agency (LDIA), Juris Kanels, had to answer majority of the questions because the agency is in charge of the distribution of the EU funds. The LDIA will be ready to accept applications in the end of April. The examination of the first applications will take a rather long time but afterwards - not more than two months. The programs of the LDIA and other institutions that will distribute the financing of the EU structural funds are not accredited yet although the LIDA submitted the documents already in November. The projects will be accepted till the end of 2006. According to Mr. Kanels, the next phase of the financing, from 2007 till 2013, will be easier.
(Telegraf)

Increased prices of producers
In January, the prices of Latvian producers increased by 1.7 per cent compared to December 2003. It is the largest increase since 1995-1996. The prices of the Latvian producers grew by 4.9 per cent compared to January 2003. The increase of prices on electrical power, gas and water supply contributed the most to the growth of the producer prices. The prices increased also for wood products (except furniture), printing and publishing, metal and food products and drinks.
(Biznes & Baltija)

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