Min­is­ter: for­eign­ers find Latvia’s busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment more and more at­trac­tive

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«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.

Zane Bitere/LETA

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