Foreign investors aim to accentuate positive, eliminate negative

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Foreign investors are pleased with the hardworking nature of their Latvian workforce but less impressed by the efforts of government to upgrade infrastructure or by the impartiality of the courts, according to an overview of the investment climate in the country released by the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL) Thursday. 

At the launch of FICIL's 2015 Sentiment Index at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, author Dr Arnis Sauka said there were no real surprises but plenty of information in the detailed report for policy planners to work on.

Arnis Sauka on FICIL Index 2015
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In his contribution to the launch, FICIL honorary chairman Stephen Oldfield said: "The important thing that I wanted to say is to credentialise (sic) this index. It is real votes from very senior people who are real and present investors in Latvia."

"This is not theoretical, this is actuel," he added.

"This is a very credentialled set of qualitative information," he further added.

Economics Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola admitted that while there were no surprises in the data, there were plenty of interesting points for the government to get its teeth into before it meets with FICIL on Friday.

"The interesting thing is how the accent changes from one area to another. One of the main reasons [companies choose Latvia] is we have a Scandinavian culture where people are happy to work hard... we have good workers," she asserted, while admitting that the return of Latvia's large overseas workforce was unlikely until Latvia's minimum wage was comparable to that of Ireland or Norway. 

The full report - which makes genuinely interesting reading - is available at the FICIL website.

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