Minister: foreigners find Latvia’s business environment more and more attractive
«Measures were performed last year to improve the business environment and make it more attractive for local and foreign investors, as well as significantly ease everyday work for them,» said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens. He said that a 0% corporate income tax was introduced for reinvested profits was introduced last year, as well as a ‘consult first’ approach for state administration institutions and a number of improvements for State Revenue Service’s Electronic Declaration System, including better accessibility of the system’s functions in English. Economy Ministry told BNN that one of the main measures of the business environment development plan is the permission to perform accounting activities using foreign currency and keep accounting documents in English. «During the 23 January meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, members of the government reviewed Economy Ministry’s conceptual report on keeping accounting documents filled in English and perform accounting activities using foreign currency. Ministers decided on future steps to ensure the business environment is even more open. The report also detailed experience of other countries in resolving problematic matters, as well as mechanisms used to improve attractiveness of their business environments. The report also analysed Latvia’s legislation and offered several possible solutions.»
The State Revenue Service plans to provide full English language support for EDS this year. Business organizations have mentioned multiple times that provision of state services in English language should be a priority in order to help foreign businessmen work in Latvia. Machine translation of EDS was developed by SIA Tilde in cooperation with IT Competences Centre, the ministry notes.
There are also plans to ensure SRS is able to provide support (correspondence, communication, document submission, etc.) to foreign investors in English, but only as far as it does not interfere with established regulations. Other plans include regular updates and translations of Latvian laws at www.likumi.lv.
Economy Ministry notes that although the conceptual report did initially include the option to permit writing accounting documents in English and use foreign currencies, after listening to opinions of different sides and assessing the current situation in the country it was concluded that Latvia’s regulations and system are not suitable for English language and use of foreign currencies. It was also concluded that it is already possible to use foreign languages for accounting services in Latvia, and regulations do not restrict it.
One of the most noteworthy measure to help improve Latvia’s business environment is the introduction of 0% corporate income tax on reinvested profits, which is expected to benefit both investments and development of innovations, the ministry adds. Work continues on further introduction of ‘consult first’ principle in more state institutions, which is an initiative especially welcome by businessmen. This principle is expected to make communication easier with state institutions.