Nemiro: Latvia should try to attract Belarusian companies

It is necessary to think about the possibilities of attracting businesses of Belarus, who are currently fleeing the country, said Ralfs Nemiro (KPV LV), head of the Saeima Economic Commission, on Latvia Television September 10.

He said that the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) is already working on it, because Belarusian companies are looking for opportunities to move to Latvia. Representatives of the LIAA in Belarus is working on it, looking for and inviting entrepreneurs.

“Politically, we have agreed that we look towards high-tech companies, with high added value, they are welcome here,” Nemiro said.

According to the LIAA data, until 9 September in-depth consultations on the possibilities of relocating their activities to Latvia had been provided to 154 Belarusian companies and individuals, who employ more than 4,000 people in Belarus, while there are plans to transfer around 450 employees to Latvia, mainly managers and key specialists. About 40 of these companies work in the field of information technology, while 25 are manufacturing companies. Several companies have the status of start-ups.

The decision to transfer business by 9 September had already been taken by 10 companies, which are currently sorting documentation, the LIAA said.

Nemiro said that the companies' move won't be a quick process because they need to be verified by safety authorities. Nemiro also pointed out that companies have to be able to open bank accounts here, because otherwise they will go to Poland.

While commenting on possible Belarus counter-sanctions against the Baltic States, Nemiro said for the time being the activities of Latvian companies in Belarus have not been affected.

Head of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Commission Rihards Kols (National Alliance) pointed out that, when threatening to divert cargo from the ports of the Baltic States to Russia, Alexander Lukashenko should take into account not only Moscow but also a big player who moves his cargo through Belarus – China.

Lukashenko may agree with Moscow, but another question was whether Chinawanted to direct its cargo through Russia, said Kols. 

 

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