Reval Hotels
Pietari Express
 Observer Latvija SIA

WEEK 16.2006

Friday, the 21st of March, 2006

VAT will be lowered
Latvian government is planning to introduce a lowered VAT of 5 per cent for heating, gas and electricity, as well as for haircutters and repairs of personal living space. Currently there is no tax for heating, but taxes have to be paid for goods and services necessary to deliver heat, so the “hidden” VAT is about 11-15 per cent. The EU regulations, however, include a mandatory tax for heating. It allows a lowered VAT for several services, and Latvia has decided to use it. The lowered tax for heating will be introduced in July 1, 2006, and for the rest of services in January 1, 2007. The heating prices are expected to decrease by 0.6-8 per cent, and the electricity and gas prices for 11 per cent, which would lower the inflation by 0.5 per cent.

Thursday, the 20th of March, 2006

German investors meet with the President
The German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce invited to the business dinner with the Latvian President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, 20 representatives of German concerns and enterprises which made significant investments into the development of business in Latvia. German businessmen admitted that Latvia is becoming more attractive for business. According to statistical data by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, the profit of 70% German companies in Latvia in 2005 increased compared to 2004. However, German entrepreneurs stressed that among the main problems in Latvia are the brain drain and labour force drain, as well as great social and economic difference in Riga’s and other regions development.

Wednesday, the 19th of April, 2006

Rating is still on the same place
Credits and ratings agency Coface kept the same credit risks rating for Latvia, A3. According to the press-release of Coface Latvia Credit Management Services, the ratings of Estonia and Lithuania remained the same, too, A2 and A3 respectively. These indexes have not been changing for 15 months, and investors positively evaluate this tendency. Coface rating reflects the country’s enterprises’ possibility to fulfil their payment obligations and is being calculated for 151 countries

Tuesday, the 18th of April, 2006

One third receives EUR 142
In 2005, the salary of approximately 33.4% employees in Latvia did not exceed EUR 142 per month after paying taxes. According to the Central Statistical Bureau, 12.1% received less than EUR 104 per month, and 21.3% from EUR 104 to EUR 142 per month. 22.9% of working people received EUR 142-214 per month, 16.6% EUR 214-285 per month, 11.8% EUR 285-428 per month, 5.1% EUR 428-714 per month and 1.8% EUR 714-1,420 per month. The salary of 0.2% employees exceeded EUR 1,420 per month.

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