Dear FICIL members and honoured BDF Summit participants,
Welcome to Latvia – a small, dynamic, attractive place that holds a remarkable economic success story. This year the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia (FICIL) gathers for its 17th High Council, our annual high level meeting with the Latvian government. In 2013, to make Latvia even more attractive for foreign investors, we advise the government on macroeconomic and tax policies, fair competition, sustainable energy and education policy, transport, and transparency.
Small, open economies like Latvia’s require healthy FDI in order to succeed and grow. Since 1998, FICIL has worked closely as a policy advisor to the Latvian government, and we are proud of our achievements. We are pleased to see our contribution to improving the business environment and competitiveness of the Latvian economy, promoting balanced economic policies, and maintaining a healthy long-term vision.
Because competition never sleeps, Latvia and the Baltic Sea region can’t rest easy. Our High Council this year will also focus on challenges to sustainable economic growth in the aftermath of the crisis. In the final plenary session of the Summit, “Staying Ahead of the Curve,” we ask how Latvia and its neighbours can maintain the leading economic position the region currently enjoys. Is it through export growth, smart manufacturing and innovation? Or does it require low barriers to FDI, low income tax, transparent government, and a light regulatory hand?
On behalf of the Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Riga, to wish you a successful Summit, and to encourage you to scratch that itch of curiosity about Latvia. It really is worth a closer look.
American Chamber of Commerce
Chairman of the Executive Board, Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia