The new head of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) - the body charged with attracting and growing foreign investment in the country - will be Kaspars Rožkalns (pictured above, right), formerly the head of LIAA's representative offices in Germany and China.
Rožkalns was unveiled as the winner of the job contest by Economics Minister Ralfs Nemiro (pictured above, left). Rožkalns will take up his new job on January 20, replacing long-serving LIAA head Andris Ozols, who was in the post since 2004.
Nemiro said after meeting with the new LIAA director that one of his most important tasks would be finding solutions to increase Latvia's international competitiveness.
“Together with business organizations and social partners, we have identified areas where improvements can be made to promote innovation and productivity, promote exports and attract investment. I expect the director of the LIAA to develop and implement a concrete plan to raise the Latvian economy on an international level and ensure sustainable growth,” said Nemiro.
Rožkalns set one of his priorities in his new position as support for knowledge-based companies to promote Latvia's international competitiveness and visibility. In the future, LIAA will be established as an open, transparent and proactive one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, he said.
“We need to attract investment from both Asia and Western Europe. I think we need to be more focused on Western Europe, because attracting investment is probably easier and it is also physically closer and easier for investors to come and see what is happening here,” Rožkalns told Latvian Radio.
The new Director of LIAA has a bachelor's degree in advertising and media from the University of Latvia, and has a master's degree in business administration from Turiba University. He speaks English, Russian, German and Chinese in addition to Latvian according to his LinkedIn profile.
In the competition, Rožkalns received the highest overall score in both face-to-face interviews and management competencies compared to other applicants, the State Chancellery said.
Kaspars Rožkalns has been appointed Director of LIAA for five years.
Subordinated to the Minister for Economics of Latvia, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) aims at increasing exports and competitiveness of Latvian companies, facilitating foreign investment and implementing tourism development and innovation policies.