Chamber of Commerce: Latvia too dependent on EU funds

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The Latvian economy is too dependent on EU funds, so it should be re-oriented to make it more self-sufficient, said Aigars Rostovskis, head of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an interview to Latvian Television.

"Globally, our economy is among the top 70 countries. However, by OECD criteria we are one of the poorest ones," said Rostovskis.

He also said that the country is too dependent on EU funding.

"We have to recognize that the EU funds may run out at some time and we'll have to learn to make a living on our own," said Rostovskis, urging entrepreneurs to be more active in seeking new markets.

Rostovskis also panned out some new potential markets for Latvian exporters, including the US and Canada, China and Southeast Asian markets as well as EU countries and developing markets like Ethiopia, where the IT sector has potential to expand.

Rostovskis, who is meeting president Raimonds Vējonis on Tuesday to discuss supporting business initiatives and expanding to new markets, hopes that the new president will be as active as outgoing president Andris Bērziņš in developing the business environment and strengthening contacts with foreign businesses.

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a voluntary, politically independent organisation uniting micro, small, medium and large-sized companies from all regions and economic sectors of Latvia.

In Latvia, a number of initiatives in areas such as research, transportation and agriculture, are supported by EU Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund.

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