RIGA - Quality digitization tools are available in Latvia, but these tools need to be made more user-friendly, the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL) board chairwoman Gunta Jekabsone told reporters after a meeting with the government representatives today.
The government and the FICIL today held the 24th high-level meeting, during which foreign investors thanked the Cabinet of Ministers for its work over the past twelve months, especially in reforming higher education and establishing the economic affairs court. The FICIL also has a high opinion of the government's efforts to overcome the Covid-19 crisis.
"Hats off to the Latvian government for what it has done in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis! However, that is not enough to improve Latvia's competitiveness," added Jekabsone.
The FICIL informed the government about four important priorities. First, foreign investors recommend improving the healthcare system, in particular the sick leave system.
Second, the ongoing tax reform must ensure that the tax burden on honest taxpayers does not increase. The FICIL believes that more residents should pay taxes. Jekabsone also praised the government's suggestion to reduce state social insurance contributions by 1 percent, which will make Latvia's labor taxes more competitive.
The third item on the agenda of today's meeting was the rule of law where the government still has much to do, and the fourth item was promoting digitization, which has been overall successful in Latvia, but digital products should nevertheless be made more user-friendly.
Covid-19 crisis has proved that digitization is the future in Latvia. "In the past, it was a common belief that large part of society was not on good terms with digital solutions. However, this is the path Latvia should follow, as digitization means more effective use of resources and a smaller shadow economy," said Jekabsone.
Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said in turn that attracting direct foreign investment was important for Latvia as it was one of the preconditions for faster economic development. Karins described today's meeting as productive, and said that the government would always be interested in hearing foreign investors' opinion.