In brief - 2006-03-29

  • 2006-03-29
Russia plans to open an investment and technological innovation agency in Riga to promote economic cooperation, Russian ambassador to Latvia Viktor Kalyuzhny was quoted as saying. The agency's main task will be to stimulate interest among Latvian and western business people in cooperation with Russia. The group will also work to attract private investments from the West and Latvia, and hopes to gain EU structural funds.

The Indian IT company Tata Consultancy Services hinted at entering the Latvian market, Latvia's Foreign Ministry said. Tata Consultancy Services "plans to expand its operations in Europe and mentioned Latvia as one of the possible countries. The company currently has good success in the U.K., Switzerland and Hungary." The company was willing to continue talks with the ministry to learn more about the Latvian market and cooperation opportunities. "IT development is significant for Latvia to reach the level of West Europe. So the government will focus on further development of the industry," said Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks. Tata Consultancy Services is one of Asia's largest conglomerates, Tata Group.

The Stockholm-based investment manager East Capital, specializing in Eastern European markets, is about to open its Baltic office in Tallinn. Gert Tiivas will manage the office, which hopes to better serve current and future clients in the Baltic states and ease communication with partners and portfolio companies. "We are very happy to establish a presence in the Baltic states, as this will further prove our deep and lasting commitment to being the leading portfolio investor and asset manager in this rapidly growing region," said chairman Peter Elam Hakansson. Tiivas was previously president of OMX Growth Markets, responsible for new business development in Eastern Europe and Russia.

The Finnish food group Valio International plans to unite all Baltic subsidiaries under one common manager and begin production in Latvia or Lithuania. Valio owns the cheese maker Voru Juust and the dairy company Valio Eesti in Estonia, Valio International in Latvia and UAB Valio International in Lithuania. Valio Baltic manager, Timo Malmi, will run the business from Estonia. Each of the companies will remain separate entities and maintain independent accounting. Currently, Estonia is the only country apart from Finland where Valio is running production operations.

Sektor, a Norwegian-owned real estate company, hopes to invest about 55 million litas (16 million euros) in Lithuanian real estate projects over the next two years. Kjetil Hanssen, director of Sektor in Lithuania, said a large part of the money would go into Vilnius' Old Town to develop high-class residential and office projects. "In Vilnius, we see unique buildings and locations for prestigious residential apartments or offices," he said. Sektor is part of Sektor Group, the largest single-family owned real estate group in Norway.