19.04.2021 - GBS

Riga is the most dynamic city for the GBS industry

On Thursday, April 15, the "CEE Business Services Awards 2021" in the Polish city Wroclaw took place. During the event, Riga received the award "The Most Dynamically Developing City of the Year in the CEE Region".

According to the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency (RITA), a jury of international experts evaluated the achievements of the Latvian capital city in the global business service centre (GBS) sector. In their eyes, Riga proved to be superior to other European cities that participated in this competition for the title "City of the Year". Riga has received this award for the first time; however, in 2019, Riga received the “Rising City of the Year” award at the same event.

Riga has won this award due to implementing a set of measures to attract investment and improve the business environment. The jury particularly appreciated the initiative to set up RITA, which will make a significant contribution to the city's future economic prospects.

"Several years of close cooperation between Riga City Council, LIAA, ABSL Latvia, the Ministry of Economics and private sector partners have resulted in Riga receiving this award. We are satisfied that the local government has understood the need to attract foreign direct investment, which has facilitated both the expansion of the LIAA Investment Project Department and the establishment of the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency. It will create even more positive results in the long run, as well as a significant contribution to the economy of Latvia and Riga, ” points out Rolands Bogdanovs, the Director of RITA.

The Latvian branch of DNB Bank received recognition as the "Business Service FIrm of the Year" in Latvia. It earned this title due to the lowest employee rotation rate in the industry and active work on process automation projects.

In addition to improving ecosystem issues, several new global business service centres arrived in Riga in 2020, such as a German IT company q.beyond, Switzerland's leading telecommunications provider Swisscom and a world-renowned airline Norwegian Air.

Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecommunications service provider, has set up its second European DevOps in Riga. It has a goal to attract 200 highly qualified IT professionals. They are also the first tenants of the Z-towers office building.

The Norwegian Airline decided to centralize its operations and establish a global business service centre in Riga. The Norwegian "Air Resources Latvia" office manages the airline functions worldwide, which has reduced the need to outsource activities.

The German IT company q.beyond located its business centre in Riga. It focuses on enabling customers to continue to develop business processes flexibly and efficiently. Q.beyond focuses on three particularly fast-growing sub-services of the IT services market, namely Cloud & Colocation, SAP and IoT. Also, q.beyond has experience in AI, analytics, blocking, 5G and NB IoT. The company develops innovative service packages for the retail, manufacturing and energy sectors, combining all these service modules.

The Circle K business centre in Riga is expanding significantly due to the takeover of the US and Canadian service functions. They will serve 7,200 gas stations in North America with a team of 130 people.

In total, about 50 GBS centres are operating in Latvia, employing more than 15,500 specialists. These service centres provide IT, finance, accounting and customer service functions. The existing GBS centres continue to attract both local and foreign professionals, which has resulted in an annual average increase in employment in the industry of around 7-10%. One of the most outstanding examples of this year's expansion in the sector is Webhelp opening an office in Daugavpils. They have hired more than 200 new employees in three months.

In March 2021, LIAA has also initiated a “Green Channel” for priority investment projects. Latvian entrepreneurs from several sectors can apply for it, including GBS, whose future investment and development plans in Latvia meet the minimum criteria to receive "Green Channel" benefits. It shortens the timeframe of administrative processes and promotes the development of existing businesses. It is one of the most crucial tools to facilitate the development of the GBS sector and other technologically developed and export-oriented industries in Latvia. LIAA's proactive work with Belarus since August last year confirms that Latvia can attract technological companies, including innovative start-ups, as well as highly qualified specialists from other countries. Consequently, LIAA will continue to use various channels to promote the business environment and research development in the country and the capital city.

Source: delfi.lv

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