Friday, the 25th of November, 2005
The cheap petroleum will not save us
On November 24, the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs shared the EU opinion about the Latvian energy market. When asked about the possibility of importing lower quality petroleum from Belarus, he admitted that he understands the situation in Latvian market, but the requests of EU market are the same for all the countries. Therefore, Latvia cannot single-handedly relax the regulations. This seems like the definite no on the issue. He also doubted whether Latvia should invest EUR 2 billion in the reconstruction of Ignalina nuclear power plant, pointing out that the investments should be private. When Ignalina closes in 2009, Latvia will lose a considerable supplier of its electricity and will have to rely more on the Russian sources, which are wearing out. The demand for electricity is increasing steadily.
Wednesday, the 23rd of November, 2005
Food continues to raise the manufacturer prices
The manufacturer prices in October 2005 have grown for 6.8 per cent in comparison with October 2004. The largest influence has been the increase of food and beverage prices. The prices might have risen because of several reasons. The main is that manufacturers are introducing EU requests in their companies; among others are increased fuel and export prices, which that allow increasing the prices in the local market as well.
Tuesday, the 22nd of November, 2005
The registration of companies and executives should become simpler
The Latvian Ministry of Justice has prepared changes in the Commercial Law that should simplify the registration of new companies. Now the owner of the company has to verify his signature with a state notary, which takes time. The proposed changes cut many unnecessary paperwork and register the signature as well as the juridical address of a company right in the Register of Enterprises. This, however, might turn out to be exact opposite of the proposed simplification since the Register is notorious for its long waiting times.
Biznes & Baltija
Monday, the 21st of November, 2005
Latvia has all the old ills
The research of the World Bank on the business environment in Latvia shows that Latvia still has the same problems it had in 2002 when the research was first carried out. The problems that have increased are macroeconomic instability (60 per cent believe it is a problem in comparison with 50 per cent in 2002), unfair competition, purchasing and renting land, and the lack of skilled work force; almost 50 per cent of businessmen believe it is a problem, in comparison with 35 per cent in 2002. It is among the highest numbers in the region; the average is 30 per cent. The problem of bribery has decreased. The situation is similar in other countries as well. 7 per cent admit that bribes are necessary in comparison with 17 per cent in 2002. 25 per cent believe that corruption is a problem, a 5 per cent decrease from 2002. After joining the EU, fewer businessmen complain about customs and restrictions on business. Businessmen still complain about taxes and administration, although less than in 2002. However, the authors of the research admit the situation in region has improved.
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