Latvia has made progress in the Doing Business ranking - Latvia’s assessment has improved by ten positions, and Latvia aims to rank among the top 20 countries. One of the tasks to fulfil in order to improve the rating – bringing order to the procedure of receiving the construction permits, said the experts on Friday, October 21, at the press conference devoted to the World Bank’s report Doing Business 2012 and Latvia’s results.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis informed the media that currently Latvia ranks 21st in the study Doing Business that is by 10 positions higher than last year. ”Once we had set the goal to rank 20th in Doing Business. Now it seems that we can set a higher objective. Japan and Germany are right above Latvia, thus, we can conclude that competition in business environment is becoming increasingly serious.”
Before the press conference, also Xavier Devictor, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic Countries, expressed his satisfaction over Latvia’s progress: “We would like to congratulate Latvia from being one of the best reformers worldwide this year. The steps taken by the authorities to enhance the business environment are an important part of the recovery process. It is very encouraging to see that Latvia now stands in the 21st position in 2012 Doing Business ranking - a very good score, even compared with other countries in the region. We hope that this will continue to be reflected in increased investments and in the creation of jobs.
Particularly noteworthy are improvements in areas such as: the new insolvency law that streamlines and expedites the insolvency process and introduces a reorganization option for companies, easing of the property transfers by allowing electronic access to municipal tax databases that show the tax status of property and eliminating the requirement to obtain this information in paper format, reducing the minimum capital requirement and introducing a common application for value added tax and company registration”, said X.Devictor.
Latvia has attained the good results by implementing substantial reforms in three areas: facilitated requirements for business start-up, reduced business start-up capital, improved insolvency procedures as well as facilitated procedure for obtaining electricity connection. However the reforms are needed in the area of construction, the infrastructure should be improved and the opportunities of new technologies should be more actively used,” said Senior Economist of the World Bank office in Warsaw Marcin Piatkowski at the press conference.
Doing Business is one of the most objective criteria for evaluation of Latvia’s current economical situation, investment and business environment, said the Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia Artis Kampars during the discussion with the media. However, the work must be carried on, for example, to ease procedures for receiving construction permits. The minister informed on current improvements – from 210 days necessary to coordinate issuing of the construction permit, the time of the procedure has been reduced three times – to 70 days. Other important task at hand is the protection of investors and the procedure of consideration of commercial disputes.
Minister of Finance Andris Vilks also emphasized the importance of creating more flexible environment for business so that Latvia could improve its economic indicators. “The time of crisis is an opportunity for development in many fields”, he said, mentioning Iceland, as an example, which has attained great results of development at the time of crisis.
As reported earlier, the study of the World Bank Doing Business 2012 shows that Latvia is among those 12 countries where the implemented reforms have substantially improved business conduct, ranking Latvia 21st among 183 world countries. The report shows that this year 245 reforms have been implemented in the economies of 125 countries, which is by 13% more than in the previous period and Latvia is among those countries, which have achieved rapid improvement in business environment.
To achieve this result, Latvia has implemented several significant reforms: facilitated business start-up by reducing the requirements for business start-up capital; simplified application procedure for installation of electricity connection; simplified registration of the real property providing access to the property tax databases of local governments as well as improvements made to the regulatory framework for insolvency.
About Doing Business
According to the data of the study Doing Business 2012, Latvia ranks among those countries where the implemented reforms have facilitated business conduct. The objective of the government of Latvia is to ensure that Latvia as an investment and business-friendly country ranks among the leading 20 countries in the study Doing Business 2013 (the estimates have been made on the basis of figures of Doing Business 2011). The study has been carried out since 2003. Ten criteria are analysed in the study, which characterize how aligned is the country’s environment for doing business, including the solutions in case of insolvency, cross-border trade, business start-up procedures. To carry out the study, the economic analysts, researchers and experts from the public and private sector are involved. The results of Doing Business are one of the factors considered by the investors who look for new opportunities to develop their business.
Study of Doing Business 2012:
Photos of the press conference:
Audio file: http://www.mk.gov.lv/files/db_preses_konference.wma
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