On July 6, during the meeting with European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia Valdis Dombrovskis acknowledged that Latvia has decided to substantially increase the funding for science and research by 2020 up to 1.5% of GDP. Thereby, in the EU context, it is important to develop sufficiently comfortable approach mechanism for scientists, as well as entrepreneurs.
In 2011, the total funding of the private sector for science and research amounts to 0.6% of GDP. It is planned to increase it up to 1% by 2015, but in 2020 it will reach 1.5% of GDP, V.Dombrovskis informed the Commissioner. M.Geoghegan-Quinn appreciated this decision and expressed the conviction that Latvia will succeed in attaining this objective by current determination and discipline. By investing in innovations, the competitiveness of both Latvia and the EU will be strengthened and the long-term objective is to increase the funding for science up to 3% of GDP, stressed the Commissioner.
M.Geoghegan-Quinn informed that in the next financial perspective of the EU for 2014-2020, the funding in the amount of EUR 80 billion will be available for research, innovations and technology development that is considerable more than in current planning period from 2007-2013, providing the funding in the amount of EUR 55 billion for these objectives. “The investments in practically applicable researches and innovations are one of the most important strategic aspects of the EU’s economic strategy”, emphasized the Commissioner.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the greatest opportunities for investments lie in traditional industry sectors, where it is necessary to increase the value-added for Latvian products and services.
In view of the limited domestic market of Latvia, the production should be export-oriented and during the last two years we have managed to re-orient it towards this direction, said V.Dombrovskis. “The production volumes this year have increased by 15%, while export volumes in Q1 of 2011 have increased even by 41% compared to Q1 of 2010. The production and exports have been and still are the main factors, which have led Latvia out of the financial crisis and back to growth,” said the Prime Minister.
V.Dombrovskis and the Commissioner also discussed the EU budget proposal for next financial perspective and the Prime Minister noted that Latvia is not ready to agree to proposal on setting the ceiling to the available cohesion funding in the amount of 2.5% of GDP for all countries and stressed the need to rapidly move forward to equalize the amount of direct payments for farmers of old and new Member States.
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