RIGA - The Latvian government on May 29 approved the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s action plan for the development of Latgale Province in 2012-2013, which sets out a number of tasks for improving the employment situation there, reports LETA. The action plan discusses the current situation in Latgale, the key problems of the province, the possible solutions and tasks for improving the situation. The plan also provides amounts of money necessary for improving the situation in the province. Although the total amount of investments from the European Union funds is 232.8 million lats (332.5 million euros) in the 2007-2013 period, the planned results have not been achieved. This is shown by the continuing decrease in Latgale’s population, increasing emigration, an unemployment level above Latvia’s average, a low number of new enterprises, a significant proportion of the shadow economy to the real economy, and residents’ pessimistic opinions about the province as a place to work and live in.
The action plan notes that, taking into account these factors, the ways the region is being supported must be revised and the most serious challenges to development must be identified, as well as the most efficient solutions to them.
The goals set in the action plan include encouraging more residents to become entrepreneurs and creating more favorable conditions for the attraction of private investments.
The advisory group that developed the plan had received more than 400 proposals altogether for the improvement of the investment climate in Latvia. The measures offered in the action plan, which are based on these proposals, will require around 53 million lats altogether this year and next.
In order to achieve the goals set out in the plan, various goals are set, for instance, implementing activities popularizing Latgale as an attractive place to work and live, and as a region attractive to investment. The media should emphasize local activities when presenting reports about Latgale. Society will also be offered information dispelling the myth about the poor social and economic situation in Latgale.
Various experience-exchange events will be organized to encourage the establishment of new enterprises in Latgale. Special support will be offered to university and college graduates who decide to work in the public sector in Latgale - their study loans will be erased.