RIGA - In the period until 2030, Riga will offer many new investment opportunities, with the capital city's government also planning investment in public infrastructure, Riga Mayor Martins Stakis (For/Progressives) said at the Baltic Real Estate Leaders (BREL) forum on Friday.
The mayor of the Latvian capital city informed that the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, which was established in May this year, aims for attracting EUR 600 million investment and providing 400 new jobs in the would-be investment projects.
The city's government also offers a "green corridor" for investment to speed up their absorption, Stakis said. The Riga mayor added that the local government might provide support to investors in building new offices and production plants by offering VAT rebates for three to five years, as well as reduced property tax rates on high-quality housing projects for two to three years.
Stakis noted that there are four prioritized development territories in Riga: The Knowledge Mile in Pardaugava, Skanste neighborhood, Teika and VEF neighborhood, as well as the neighborhood of Skirotava and Granita Street.
The Knowledge Mile in Pardaugava where several universities are situated, has a potential for the development of technology incubators and medical research. The Rail Baltica connection via Tornakalns will increase this potential even more.
Meanwhile, Skanste has been developing as a financial and business services center where private investors have already invested EUR 360 million and are planning to invest further EUR 360 million in coming years. The city government intends to invest EUR 20 million in the neighborhood's public infrastructure in 2022, Stakis said.
The neighborhood of Teika and VEF has become a cluster of ICT and electronics companies, already accounting for 40 percent of Latvia's ICT exports. Stakis noted that investors have already invested EUR 150 million in this territory and are going to invest EUR 130 million more in the near future. The local government is planning to invest in this territory's public infrastructure as well.
In the neighborhood of Skirotava and Granita Street, which is home to logistics, pharmaceutical and food production businesses, investors are planning to provide EUR 120 million, while the local authority is going to spend EUR 20 million from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility on the territory's public infrastructure.
Investors also have the opportunity to get involved in four infrastructure projects, which Riga plans to implement by 2030, Stakis said.
The mayor indicated that EUR 400-500 million will have to be invested in the infrastructure around the Riga Central Railway Station in connection with the construction of the Rail Baltica railway line, around EUR 60 million will be needed for the Eastern Highway, around EUR 80 million in the Southern Bridge's connections and around EUR 100 million in the Northern Transport Corridor on the left bank of the River Daugava.