World Bank head urges Latvia to keep up reforms

  • 2010-08-16
  • Oskars Magone

The president of the World bank (from left) met with the prime minister and the EU Development Commissioner in Sigulda.

SIGULDA - During a visit to Sigulda, a picturesque town in North-Eastern Latvia, World Bank President Robert Zoellick has commended the Latvian government's efforts to cut the budget and urged the country to continue with structural reforms.

Zoellick met with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. The WB and EU were two major participants in a IMF-led financial bailout of the country in 2008.

Latvia, like other European countries, will have to carry out long-term structural reforms in order to get the country's economy back on the road to long-term sustainability. He said the WB would only offer suggestions and that the bulk of the decisions would have to be taken by the government.

''The decisions will be made by the Latvian people, not international organizations like the World Bank,'' Zoellick told journalists.

Dombrovskis, for his part, reiterated a pledge to cut the budget deficit to 6%.

According to a government press release, the prime minister's main priorities for reform include "enhancement of the business environment, support to small- and medium-sized enterprises, development of the national strategy for attraction of investments, fight against the shadow economy, strengthening of the public procurement processes and implementation of an efficient labour market policy."