EY: most Lat­vian busi­ness­men are not ready for changes to EU fund dis­tri­bu­tion

Baltic News Network - - Front Page - Read more on bnn-news.com

Latvia has a gen­er­a­tion of busi­ness­men that ex­pect to re­ceive as­sis­tance, in­clud­ing from Euro­pean Union funds, part­ner of pro­fes­sional busi­ness ad­vi­sory and au­dit ser­vice com­pany EY An­dris Laucins said in an in­ter­view.

«We have cre­ated a gen­er­a­tion of busi­ness­men that are used to re­ceiv­ing money from the EU and other as­sis­tance tools as gifts. I would say that we have more changes ahead of us – we have grown up in an economy that is used to re­ceiv­ing aid,» said Laucins. He em­pha­sizes that Lat­vian res­i­dents should start think­ing about cre­at­ing an economy in a sit­u­a­tion when Latvia is no longer ex­pected to re­ceive help, but pro­vide it.

«This could be an eco­nom­i­cally ad­van­ta­geous process for us. We all re­mem­ber how in the first years of our in­de­pen­dence dif­fer­ent Dan­ish ad­vi­sors helped us, and there were dif­fer­ent pro­grammes from other coun­tries. This was also ben­e­fi­cial for our sup­port­ers. Now Latvia is a mem­ber in a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions. We have be­come a sup­port­ing coun­try our­selves. This fact has to be clear within the halls of the gov­ern­ment and among busi­ness­men. On the busi­ness side of things, we still live with the thought that we can re­ceive gifts in ex­change for fill­ing some ta­ble or writ­ing a busi­ness plan,» says EY part­ner. Laucins also noted that the ma­jor­ity of Lat­vian busi­ness­men are not pre­pared for pos­si­ble changes to reg­u­la­tions that gov­ern the divi­sion process for EU funds, which may in­clude let­ting go of the grant prin­ci­ple and in­stead us­ing dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments to al­lo­cate money.

«If you ask an av­er­age busi­ness­men what fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments are avail­able, I doubt most will ex­plain what those in­stru­ments are. No one will give away money to busi­ness­men any longer. It will be nec­es­sary to come up with de­vel­op­ment projects that de­tail clear plans as to how this money is bor­rowed and for what pur­pose, as well as how this money will be re­turned. Maybe we will see some other mech­a­nisms that will make it manda­tory to re-in­vest money in other good things. I be­lieve the num­ber of busi­ness­men that are able to qual­ify to main­tain money flow and en­sure re-in­vest­ment of money fur­ther down the line is not high,» com­ments EY part­ner.

He also notes that busi­ness­men of old EU mem­ber states have ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments. Lat­vian busi­ness­men, on the other hand, are be­hind the times with that. «If projects are to be eval­u­ated and com­pared, it should be con­cluded that busi­ness­men from old EU mem­ber states are ten steps ahead of us ideas and ex­pe­ri­ence-wise work­ing with such in­stru­ments. We don’t have such a his­tory,» Laucins said.

Nev­er­the­less, he said Lat­vian busi­ness­men have be­gun us­ing as­sis­tance from con­sul­tants to as­sist with their com­pany’s de­vel­op­ment.

Ieva Lūka/LETA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.