Economics Minister: Banking rules should ease investor entry to Latvia

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Banks working with non-residents subject to strict rules should set up a “green corridor” to allow investors to enter Latvia, Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs (KPV LV) told Latvian Television September 10.

Several companies in Belarus have expressed interest in transferring their activities to Latvia. At the same time, concerns are raised about the cooperation of such companies with Latvian banks, given the strict rules regulating non-resident banking latterly introduced in a bid to shed Rīga's reputation as a money-laundering hub.

“It is difficult to attract investment if the company enters Latvia and cannot open a bank account here. We are in constant contact with the responsible authorities. It is important to act quickly especially with regard to Belarusian investors,” the Minister said.

He expressed hope that a compromise could be found and conditions would be eased by creating a “green corridor” for investors to enter Latvia. “I really believe this and there are reasonable assumptions that this could happen,” Vitenbergs said.

Clarity on this could come next week, the Minister added.

The Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) also said this week that the Latvian financial sector should think more about the development of the banking sector.


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