Latvian investment agency head steps down

The director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), Kaspars Rožkalns, will leave his position at the end of the month, it was announced September 8.

His last working day will be September 29, and in the near future the State Chancellery will announce an open competition for the post of LIAA director.

"When I assumed the duties of director of LIAA, my wish was to change the image of the public administration institution, creating LIAA as an organization whose mission is to work for the benefit of society. We have worked a lot to increase the confidence of entrepreneurs and improve the quality of services provided by LIAA. In three years, we have managed to initiate change process and change the internal culture of the organization, however, the lack of clear priorities at the state level in arranging the business environment has not allowed the full realization of the ideas I had originally planned," said Rožkalns of the reasons for his departure.

"In order to achieve faster economic development, it would be necessary to depart from the traditional approach and flexibly offer those solutions that are able to provide the greatest return at a given moment. We often create unnecessary obstacles for ourselves, which we spend a lot of time overcoming. In this way, we lose the competitive advantage that speed could provide. 

"We must also think about greater investments in business stimulation. It is not for nothing that Estonia spends about four times more funds for this purpose than Latvia, and Lithuania about twice as much. I am sure that by continuing the initiated reforms, LIAA will improve its performance every year and become the best business service organization in Northern Europe," said Rožkalns.

Edmunds Valantis, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy said Rožkalns had helped the institution to work: "more proactively and flexibly, listening more to the needs of entrepreneurs" and that under Rožkalns' stewardship export and investment attraction indicators had improved.

The deputy director of LIAA for export affairs, Iveta Strupkaja, will head the institution on a temporary basis until a full-time appointment is made.

Rožkalns was appointed in January 2020.

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