VIPs view growth prospects for Jelgava region

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High-ranking EU member-state diplomats, commissars, state and local government officials, corporate leaders and representatives of the regional business and labor communities were bused around Zemgale province in the vicinity of its central town of Jelgava Wednesday to visit a host of local companies first-hand and gather for a conference and banquet at the Jelgava Business Park on the outskirts of town.

Jelgava Business Park takes up the former premises of the defunct and long-derelict Soviet-era RAF motor vehicle factory, now repurposed into an industrial business center by investment group Nordic Partners subsidiary NP Properties, which owns eight such industrial park real estate projects elsewhere in Latvia.

The international conference “Entrepreneurship in Regions to Strengthen Competitiveness in the EU” was organized by the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) together with the local governments of Cēsis (where the conference continues Thursday) and Jelgava to promote discussion of regional business development prospects in the two towns and surrounding regions comprising the local economies.

Jelgava municipal council chairman Mayor Andris Rāviņš touted the town and its region’s attractive business climate on the occasion of the 750th anniversary since its founding in the same year of Latvia’s EU Council Presidency.

According to Vitālijs Gavrilovs, LDDK president, “these two towns are successful examples of regional economic growth in Latvia, thanks to targeted, regular cooperation between local employers’ organizations and local government officials jointly planning future development, identifying and preventing obstacles, and looking towards the long-term.”

Prior to the conference, the attendees visited the premises of the town’s heat-producing plant and new biomass cogeneration station launched in 2013 by Finnish energy corporation Fortum, as well as the Baltic’s biggest rubber manufacturer Baltijas gumijas fabrika, dairy farmers’ cooperative Latvijas piens and the Baltic’s biggest polyethylene recycler PET Baltija.

After the conference the massive folk dance collective Lielupe thundered across the stage in the reverberating cavernous hangar space of the Jelgava Business Park to the music of the accompanying folk orchestra. Later the VIPs sipped cocktails and mingled around the ice-sculpted bar to discuss the future of business in Zemgale province and its regional center, Jelgava.

Jelgava also just celebrated its 17th Annual Ice-Sculpting Festival this weekend at its newly-launched island-park Pasta sala.


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