18.01.2021 - Economy

With 51 investment projects, LIAA attracts 252.5 MEUR in 2020

2020 started slowly in teams of attracting investment but the activity soared in the third quarter of the year. The campaign aimed at reaching out to Belarusian companies also played a significant role. Altogether, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) was involved in 51 investment projects that will bring 252.4 million euros and 2893 new jobs to Latvia.

“This last year was like navigating in an unknown area without a map. The pandemic and the subsequent restrictions meant many changes and adjustments for entrepreneurs. With the help of the Ministry for Economics and a close collaboration with companies, I think we have adapted successfully. Our economy has proved to be highly resilient and several industries have shown great results in spite of the crisis. Over the first eleven months of last year the overall value of exports went up by 80 million euros compared to the same period in 2019. 2020 was also fruitful for investment,” says LIAA Director General Kaspars Rožkalns.

Last year Latvia attracted investment worth 252.4 million euros which is the best our country has done in the last seven years. Not only do the implemented projects mean a significant contribution to our economy in the form of new jobs and taxes paid by the companies, but also help us shift to smart specialisation industries which focus on technological advancements and innovation.

Investment projects include Norwegian Air and Swisscom business services centres that will contribute to creating hundreds of well-paid jobs. The German IT developers Prime Force and QSC AG, with over 100 new jobs, are equally important players. Longenesis, a Hong Kong-based medical technology company, has joined Latvia’s startup community. SMD Baltic from Belarus, one of the biggest employers in the city of Daugavpils, has finished the first cycle of investment and is now planning to launch a second one worth several million euros. All in all, appealing to Belarusian entrepreneurs has resulted in 17 companies relocating their business to Latvia. Most of them work in IT, and will highly likely contribute to creating 1000 new jobs.

The pandemic may affect the implementation of several investment projects, as some potential investors are cautious. As global trends show, it is likely that investment will remain high in manufacture, ICT and the development of new products. Smart specialisation industries are also gaining more interest.

Introducing a “green channel” for large-scale investment will also be helpful. This means reducing administrative burdens and streamlining such essential processes as relocation, territory planning and various paperwork. The incentive will apply to both foreign investors and local businesses.

As to further goals, the LIAA Strategy 2021-2023 envisages attracting foreign investment worth 480 million euros and creating 4500 new jobs.

Source: liaa.gov.lv

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