Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

{4773DF63-E053-034C-8B34-80149910EB29}.jpg

Mr Janis REIRS, Latvian Minister for Finance. Copyright: European Union Event: Eurogroup meeting – May 2019

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


The Latvian economy is thriving, with strong job growth driving convergence with more advanced economies. Efforts should now focus on reducing inequality, responding to the challenges posed by population ageing and making growth stronger, inclusive and greener, according to two new OECD reports.

The latest OECD Economic Survey of Latvia says the broad-based upswing underway has been largely driven by domestic demand. It projects robust growth of 2.7% in 2019 and 2020, even as world trade weakens and investment slows. The Survey underscores the importance of boosting productivity growth to ensure fast catch up with living standards in advanced OECD countries, as Latvia’s working-age population declines.

“Thanks to sound macroeconomic policies and strong reform efforts, Latvia has achieved impressive economic growth over recent years,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, presenting the Survey alongside Latvian Minister of Economics Ralfs Nemiro and Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce.“Unemployment is falling, living standards and well-being are improving, and Latvia has decoupled economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, through trail-breaking use of renewable energy. To build on this performance, it is critical that Latvia continues economic reforms that make growth more robust, inclusive and environmentally friendly,” Mr Gurria said (read the full speech).

Stronger productivity growth is needed to improve living standards and thus make Latvia more attractive for foreign investors and domestic workers alike. This will require more investment in skills, research and innovation, as well as greater competition across the economy, particularly in sectors where state-owned or municipal enterprises have large weights.

Ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies are crucial to fight economic crimes and the large informal economy, which is holding back better access to credit, training and social protection.

To improve well-being and reduce large regional inequalities, Latvia should ensure universal access to healthcare and affordability of housing. Planned territorial reforms that merge or better coordinate small municipalities will ensure better provision of public services, including public transport, waste management and water, according to the Survey.

Sustained economic growth is likely to drive up environmental pressures in Latvia, according to the first OECD Environmental Performance Review of Latvia. The country has implemented the EU environmental acquis and has come a long way since the mid-2000s in bringing its environmental performance closer to the OECD average, but it still has work to do, according to the Review.

Latvia has made progress in reducing high levels of air pollution and has improved access to and quality of water. Its use of biomass as its main energy source places it among the OECD’s leaders in renewable energy. Yet more needs to be done to reduce the air pollution, which still affects nearly 90% of the population, to improve recycling and energy efficiency in houses, and to move towards a low-carbon economy, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. A priority should be agriculture and forestry, which play key economic and social roles but are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and pressures on ecosystems.

The Review recommends Latvia use stronger price signals to reduce environmental pressures. It also calls for increased investment in environment-related innovation, infrastructure and services like waste sorting and recycling, and protection of natural habitats and biodiversity. EU funds should be complemented with public and private investment.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

Ebola: EU announces new funds to strengthen preparedness in Burundi

COVID-19: Why we must take the widescreen view of workforce uncertainty

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

4 ways to scale up Europe’s green technology through better funding

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

The impacts of working conditions on the quality of the healthcare system

What do Europeans believe about the crisis and the possible way out?

FROM THE FIELD: Going the extra mile with vaccines

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

Tackling pollution and climate change in Europe will improve health and well-being, especially for the most vulnerable

Student-teacher ratio in terms of numbers and quality: an opinion article of nowadays context worldwide

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

Here’s how to cope with stress, according to the World Health Organization

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

Paid paternity leave should be the norm in the US

Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

Doctors without borders

Let us keep ‘their spirit of service alive’: Guterres leads tributes to UN workers who died in Ethiopia crash

Family-friendly policies benefit all of us. Here are 4 ways to boost them

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

Youth Forum welcomes positive ruling on non-EU student visas

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

What matters most to young Europeans?

Scaling for success: SMEs, tech innovations and the ITU Telecom World Awards 2019, in association with The European Sting

State aid: Commission approves close to €94 million support for waste-to-energy high-efficient cogeneration plant in Bulgaria

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

Bringing nuclear test ban treaty into force a ‘central pillar’ of global disarmament push, says UN chief

The link between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths

What is inclusive capitalism, and why does it matter?

When did globalization begin? The answer might surprise you

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

The Netherlands is paying people to cycle to work

US Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium: Statement of Trade Committee Chair

How technology and play can power high-quality learning in schools

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

Great Reset: Why LGBT+ inclusion is the secret to cities’ post-pandemic success

UN chief welcomes establishment of inclusive government in Central African Republic

Asia-Pacific showing ‘decisive leadership’ on road to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, deputy UN chief tells key forum

Mental health In Times of a Pandemic: What can each Individual to lessen the Burden.

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

Rapid action needed for people to meet challenges of changing world of work

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

German synagogue shooting ‘another tragic demonstration of anti-Semitism’: UN chief

3 reasons why Singapore is the smartest city in the world

FROM THE FIELD: Changing world, changing families

Free and secure access needed in DR Congo conflict zone to tackle Ebola – WHO

This new initiative aims to make cybercrime harder – and riskier – to commit

The entire Australian state of New South Wales is in drought

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

The European Brain Drain: hard facts and harder truths

France, Germany challenge Trump’s America on Iran and the reign of the dollar

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s