RADIOACTIVE CARGO OK'D: Lithuania's environmental protection ministry issued a permit to Gargzdai-based producer of pet food Master Foods to import a radioactive cargo delivered from Great Britain and detained at Klaipeda terminal January 27. Civil safety officials found that 17.7 tons of raw material for pet food production emitted ionizing radiation of 42-52 micro-roentgens per hour. Six tons of an additional radioactive chemical substance contained a combination of potassium with the addition of natural radio-nuclide K-40, a naturally radioactive substance. Combined radioactivity did not exceed government limits.
SKELE INVITED TO BELARUSIA: Latvian Prime Minister Andris Skele and Belarussian Minister of Economy Vladimir Shimov have been discussing opportunities for sharing the use of Latvian ports. Shimov invited Skele to visit Belarus and Skele accepted the invitation. Skele's visit to Belarus could occur the signing of several important agreements. A meeting of the Latvian and the Belarusian trade and economic inter-governmental commission was held in Riga last week, during which Shimov met with Latvian Minister of Economy Vladimirs Makarovs.
PARLIAMENT AMENDS BANKRUPTCY LAW: Estonia on Jan. 27 adopted amendments to the bankruptcy law to guarantee equal treatment of creditors during the bankruptcy proceedings. According to the amendments, the creditor can enact a mutual settlement of an acknowledged claim against the debtor concerning a debt the debtor owed him before bankruptcy was declared in case mutual settlement is not forbidden by law. An application for the mutual settlement of a claim can be presented to the court until such time as a distribution proposal is presented. The amendments also extend the deadline of one month for presenting the distribution plan to the court by 10 days.
DOLLAR FLEXES MUSCLES:The U.S. dollar exchange rate surged over 16 kroons per dollar for the first time ever on Jan. 28, but analysts do not expect the trend to boost Estonian consumer prices considerably as a result. Hansapank analyst Maris Lauri said that the gradual strengthening of the US dollar has boosted mainly the price of oil products for Estonia but the new record level should not add to the surge in fuel prices that has lasted for over a year. Lauri said that imported goods bought for dollars will become more expensive, but the influence of that on consumers should not be considerable since importers can acquire goods also for cheaper foreign currencies.
A MILLION HERE, A MILLION THERE: An airport renovation at the seaside resort area Palanga near the Latvian-Lithuania border will require 25 million litas ($6.25 million), according to a study delivered by German firm Spiekerman GmbH und Co. The money is expected from private investors on concessionary terms. Leonas Kvietkauskas, director of the airport, said because of flight safety requirements, old and missing equipment and bad customer service the airport is hardly attractive to air companies and passengers. Of importance to communities in western Lithuania, traffic at Palanga increases by 10 percent annually.
POLL HONORS FOOD KING: President of the Latvian food giant Lido Ltd. Gunars Kirsons is the winner of the poll Businessman/Businesswoman '99, organized by the magazine "Kapitals" and the news agency LETA. Kirsons received 610 points followed by director general of the brewery Aldaris Vitalijs Gavrilovs with 568 points. In third place was chairwoman of the board at the commercial bank Hansabanka, Ingrida Bluma, with 269 points. Others in order of number of votes received were the heads of the mobile telecommunications company LMT Ltd, Latvijas Neatkariga televizija, IT concern Dati, construction company Kalnozols un partneri, food processor Spilva, petroleum products company Latvija Statoil, dairy foods processor Rigas piensaimnieks and sheet metal plant Liepajas metalurgs.