13.07.2021 - Economy

17 new investment projects attracted worth EUR 313 million

Due to covid-19 and other global processes, the total amount of investments made in Europe, according to the audit company EY, decreased by 13% in 2020. In Latvia, however, there was an increase of 79%. Similar tendencies remain this year as well, and according to the information compiled by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), the total amount of attracted investments in six months has already exceeded the results of 2020.

"At the beginning of the year, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the initiative to create the “Green Channel” for speeding up the bureaucracy and administrative processes for high value-added investment projects.  When thinking about the long-term development prospects of the national economy, it is necessary to improve the investment attraction strategy and work on the recognition of country image for investors not to lose the desire to invest over and over again,” said Jānis Vitenbergs, the Minister of Economics.

In the first six months of this year, Latvia has attracted 17 new investment projects, and the total amount of investments will reach 313 million euros and 1,615 new jobs. These projects include four “Green Channel” projects in high value-added priority sectors, as well as five Belarusian companies that have fully or partially relocated to Latvia in 2021. This year, Latvia has managed to attract new projects in mechanical engineering, renewable energy, aquaculture, electronics, Smart materials, engineering, real estate and other fields. In comparison, in 2020, a total of 51 investment projects were implemented, attracting 252 million euros and creating 2,893 new jobs. In parallel, work is underway with several more promising investment projects, the total amount of which will be 2.6 billion euros.

"The investment environment in the world is currently favourable for Latvia, as investors are looking for so-called safe options, not wanting to take excessive risks, investing in faster-growing markets, with much higher risks. To further improve the indicators of attracted investments, we must work on offering new support tools and emphasize green innovation, digitalisation and employee training programs, ”says Kaspars Rožkalns, Director of LIAA.

One example is the Estonian "Graanul Invest", which plans to construct a wood pellet plant in Brocēni, which was postponed several years ago due to the economic situation. "Graanul Invest" will invest 22 million euros. The Brocēni plant will produce up to 250,000 tons of wood pellets per year.

This year, one of Europe's leading digital services companies Webhelp, which opened an office at Daugavpils University in January, is also expanding its operations. The company currently has more than 200 jobs created, but the planned number could double in the coming months.

The "Green Channel" has also brought the first investment results in priority sectors, which include smart specializations, GBS, as well as construction, and transport and logistics. It is an opportunity for companies registered in Latvia to receive public administration services provided in construction, spatial planning or migration in an accelerated order. This reduces the waiting time twice. Currently, four projects related to construction plans are approved, but ten projects are in the preparation and consultation stages. The total portfolio of these projects reaches 2.95 billion euros, and the planned number of newly created jobs is 1225. These “Green Channel” projects are in the industrial sector, GBS and Smart energy.

Source: em.gov.lv

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