Chambers of commerce slam Rīga mayor's no-show

A group of influential foreign figures in the Latvian capital issued a withering statement November 27 after Rīga mayor Oļegs Burovs cancelled a planned meeting with them.

"Engaging in a constructive dialogue with the foreign investors is low on Riga City Council’s agenda and needs to be improved, is one of the key takeaways from a joint chamber meeting with the leadership of the Riga City Council that took place on November 26, where the Mayor of Riga Oļegs Burovs (“Gods kalpot Rīgai”) cancelled his attendance last minute," said the account of the joint chamber meeting organized by the British, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and Swiss Chambers of Commerce in Latvia in a statement issued by the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce.

"The meeting was attended by more than fifty representatives of Foreign Embassies and Chambers of Commerce... The last minute cancellation is the third such cancellation that has frustrated the efforts of foreign chambers of commerce to hear from the head of the City Council about the vision for city’s development in the future. The first two last-minute cancellations were by Mayor Nils Ušakovs (“Saskaņa”), the former Mayor of Riga," the statement continued.

"The last minute cancellation by the Mayor of Riga sends an unfortunate message to the foreign investor community in Latvia. We understand that it is a turbulent time at the City Council, nevertheless it seems that speaking to investors and attracting new investments to the city is low on Council’s agenda,“ said Alf Erik Lundgrenn, Chairman of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.

Burovs' place was taken by Rolands Bogdanovs, Head of Investment Division at the Riga City Council, and Viesturs Zeps, elected member of Riga City Council (Latvijas attīstībai) and Board member of Riga Freeport Authority.

As previously reported by LSM, Burovs' attention was most likely taken by the eruption of a major scandal at the council-owned central market following an LTV investigation.

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