Investment agency shifts some foreign offices to far-off markets

Latvia's state investment body, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), will close four and open the same number of representative offices abroad.

The agency told the press June 3 that it currently has 20 representative offices abroad, of which the ones in Lithuania and Poland had been defunct for some time prior to closure.

Likewise, offices in Singapore and Kazakhstan will be closed in August and July. The Italian office is to close temporarily. 

Meanwhile the agency plans to set up shop in Belgium, South Korea, Canada and Austria. 

LIAA said that, according to exporter surveys, closer countries such as Lithuania and Poland are not as interesting to businesses, as these markets are well-known. Interest was likewise dwindling in Singapore and Kazakhstan.

In contrast, the agency said exporters have expressed interest in the above markets where new offices will be opened.

Six clerks will lose their jobs but only five will work across the four projected offices.

"In our day-to-day work we see that entrepreneurs are feeling more and more at ease in neighboring markets, and they usually get by without our help. They need our support to promote export activities, and we can ensure that without having economic representatives on-site. But the case is different for far-away markets with which most entrepreneurs have no prior experience. Therefore we want to emphasize support in far-off markets, involving the professional diaspora members living there," said LIAA director Kaspars Rožkalns.

LIAA will also expand the USA representation to two persons in response to growing interest.

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