Business organizations present economic wish list to parties

Latvia's largest business association, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) together with Latvia's largest employers' organization, the Latvian Confederation of Employers (LDDK) on July 20 presented joint recommendations for the economic programs of political parties in the context of parliamentary elections taking place on October 1.

The organizations said the recommendations were presented "so that the next government would be able to create requisite conditions for Latvia as an attraction and growth platform for knowledgeable people and those hungry for growth opportunities, as well as for exporting and productive companies, thereby achieving the strategic goal of increasing exports by 2026, so that it."

Recommendations for economic programs of political parties are offered in seven different directions with 26 tasks in various spheres important for business and economic growth. 

In the field of energy, the organizations say it is necessary to ensure security and the competitiveness of energy resource prices, as well as to promote the production of renewable energy resources and the development of liquefied natural gas infrastructure. 

In the field of taxes, the priorities are the competitiveness of labor taxes, easy-to-administer taxes for small entrepreneurs and the motivating tax policy of municipalities. It is also necessary to eliminate the causes of the shadow economy, so that it does not exceed 19% of GDP, the business leaders said. 

To promote innovation, it is necessary to develop an effective innovation system, including instruments promoting the cooperation of science and entrepreneurs, while in order to solve the problems of labor availability, it is necessary to ensure the mobility of the labor force, as well as the attraction of labor force from abroad. 

Improvements are also needed in the public administration processes for the efficiency of public investments, the effective acquisition of European Union funds and the promotion of fair competition, the organizations said. 

LTRK president Aigars Rostovskis said: "In LTRK's view, Latvia should be a country where talent is born and accumulates, which under favorable conditions can create economic development and promote prosperity. Our recommendations to the parties include the tasks that should be completed in order to create these conditions in Latvia. By implementing appropriate policies and making the right decisions, it is possible to ensure a rapid rise of our country's economy, so that by 2030 we can approach the level of well-being of developed countries."

LDDK president Andris Bite said: "We want to be not only talked to, but also listened to. We believe that without cooperation between the state administration and entrepreneurs, we will not achieve ambitious goals." 

The full list of recommendations to political parties from the business organizations – impressively boiled down to a single page – is available to read online (in Latvian): https://www.ltrk.lv/sites/default/files/inline-files/LTRK_LDDK_Rekomendaciju_kopsavilkums_20_07_2022%20%281%29.pdf

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