Latvian Economy of Growth — how to achieve?

The current Latvian economic and financial policy can only be regarded as partly successful, as it has
failed to promote the full national development potential. This fact is demonstrated by statistical data
where Latvia ranks among the low-scoring EU and OECD countries in almost all categories related to
public wellbeing and quality of life.
Both the current and previous governments have mainly focused to creating favourable financial
investment environment and housing market and logistics services chiefly in the expectation to turn
Latvia into a bridge between the West and Russia. This has been partially successful. However, the
reality shows us that financial investment and credit availability does not mean automatic raising of
resources or investments in those business sectors providing high value goods and services, jobs for the
locals, or growing export volume and money supply. Such practice often leads to housing bubbles and
increase in durable goods consumption or, in other words, in just what happened in 2008.
Instead of focusing on Russia, Latvia should also pay attention to its Western partners. But it does not
happen because of lack of a clear industrial policy, which results in disorganised and uncompetitive
industrial investment environment.
Data shows that main Latvian export goods are primary commodities and raw materials. We must,
therefore, create conditions that is conducive to investment in industry, development of high
technology and services, and manufacturing. Meanwhile, the successful countries produce and export
software, IT solutions, computer equipment and telephones, high military technology, etc.
Latvia’s goal of development should be different. We should reach the Nordic level of development to
ensure well-developed economy and the public. The current policy of growth is not able to secure it. It
should be refocused to raise investment in manufacturing and modern technology. Only in this way can
we raise salaries, only because of that will our people return to Latvia. At the same time, growth of the
private sector is the single option to provide people the quality of life characteristic of welfare states.
Thus, discussion “Latvian Economy of Growth — how to achieve?” will try to answer these questions:
1. How to build industrial policy capable of attracting investment in innovation-based industrial
2. How to ensure full-fledged participation of the society in economic processes and how to use its
full potential?
3. What are the national support mechanisms for investment?
Where and when: “Kaņepes kultūras centrs”, Skolas iela 15, Riga. 27.09.2017 at 17.00.
Participants: Dr. oec. Jānis Bērziņš (economist), Gints Turlajs (economist), Ansis Dobelis (Freedom and
Solidarity Foundation, Member of Board), etc.
Discussion is organised by the Freedom and Solidarity Foundation in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-