More needs to be done to promote Latvia. This sentiment, from the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Mark Pekala, is very timely, with the introduction of the Development Plan for Latvia. One has to hope that the National Development Plan will also include the remit that all state departments and institutions are partners in the implementation of the Plan, and that they will all make a greater effort to be more open and cooperative. This would, therefore, be the beginning of the vital step of welcoming outside investors, who in following the rule of law, want transparency, and that officials will be there to help, as opposed to waiting to catch them out and impose a hefty fine.
A change of ethos is needed. Businesses need encouragement and officials need to help them grow, not strangle them with red tape and penalties at every opportunity. Sole traders and specialist craftspeople, including Latvian Dream owner Agnese Bule, would surely benefit from such a change. A Development Plan is not just about policy statements and financial budgets. It must also be about the development of the individual. The needs of all citizens must be borne in mind, and the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of individuals must be encouraged and sustained within the Development Plan, otherwise it will soon be forgotten and an opportunity for growth will have been missed.