Direct Speech

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 26.08.2016, 13:10

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ICT is almost a perfectly performing sector

ICT is almost a perfectly performing sector


Over the last few years, the information and communications technologies sector (ICT) has been among those with fastest growth. It is no secret that in recent years rapid expansion of different ICT services could be observed in Latvia: programming, data storage, development of mobile applications, development of various complex ICT solutions, etc. However, unlike retail trade or manufacturing, the sector usually is not in the spotlight of economic analysts and policy makers. This can be explained by the size of the sector – ICT only accounts for about 5% of the total value added, even though this level is close to the European Union's average. Nevertheless, the success of the sector should be noted: it is one of the fastest growing, with high productivity levels, high average salary, implementation of latest technologies, and other positive features.

Keyword tags: Analytics, Banks, Direct Speech, Industry, Innovations, Internet, Latvia, Technology, Telecomunications

 The labour market improved in the second quarter in Estonia

The labour market improved in the second quarter in Estonia


Employment improved despite slow economic growth Registered unemployment increased in Ida-Virumaa The work ability reform is expected to boost registered unemployment and the labour force participation rate.

Contradictory US Pipeline Diplomacy

Contradictory US Pipeline Diplomacy


There is a striking paradox in Washington's policy on European natural gas markets. US diplomats are undertaking tireless efforts to prevent Russia constructing new export pipelines, arguing these massive projects will deprive Ukraine of billions of dollars in annual revenue from transit fees, which could wreck the struggling country's economy. At the same time the United States continues to preach the mantra of energy efficiency and supply diversification, both of which will help reduce reliance on Russian gas in Eastern Europe. Washington wants to help end Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas, yet it is fighting to keep Kiev dependent on Russian gas income. This is not only contradictory, but it is the wrong way to go about helping Ukraine and the wrong way to advance European energy security and integration in the long run.

Rietumu: after Brexit Latvia could pretend for registering companies from Britain

Rietumu: after Brexit Latvia could pretend for registering companies from Britain


Currently, the attention of all those who work and conduct business in a united Europe is being paid to the behaviour of British authorities after Brexit. If the country withdraws from the EU, many thousands of companies incorporated in Britain are very likely to leave their legal motherland. And a certain share of this business can be bid for by Latvia.

Modern EU Policies: Integration in Action. Publications series.Vol.5. Part I

Modern EU Policies: Integration in Action. Publications series.Vol.5. Part I


The publication is inspired by the active European Commission’s integration plan that was adopted in mid-2014. Although “the plan” was shaped as a political guidance, it has held an overwhelming “agenda for jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change”.


An open letter from leading Europeans to Europe’s leaders

On the final day of the European Council on Foreign Relations' Annual Council Meeting, taking place in The Hague, a group of leading Europeans including former EU foreign ministers, former vice presidents of the European commission, former European commissioners, prominent parliamentarians, ambassadors and former ambassadors, central bank governors, and figures from academia, business and journalism, released the following open letter addressed to Europe’s leaders.


Nord Stream facing future. First article.

The new project Nord Stream 2 providing for the construction of another gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea has been actively discussed in different countries. BC offers its readers a series of articles on this hot topic with the comments of Romans Baumanis, Regional Adviser of Nord Stream 2 for the Baltic states. In the first article of the cycle, we talked about the operation of the first submarine pipeline Nord Stream 1, touching upon the reasons for the development of the second project.


Recommendations prior to possible Brexit

Experts of Rietumu Asset Management (RAM) make the recommendations prior to possible Brexit.


Politically exposed person from the point of view of the Latvian legislation

After the amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing entered into force on March 1, 2016 in Latvia, some of our clients applied to us with a request to comment on these amendments in terms of their compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and the Declaration on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms.


Should Lithuanian retailers wait in trepidation of Lidl’s entrance?

One of the most important and anticipated events in grocery retail in Lithuania is the opening of Lidl stores in the local market. Some expect that Lidl will change the grocery retailing landscape in Lithuania completely, with its entry the subject of much discussion in Lithuania – however, is Lidl really such a threat to the leading grocery retailers in Lithuania?


The dangerously weak ‘defenders of Western values’

In context of escalating religious tensions internationally, world leaders must do more. Religious tension is one of the main drivers of contemporary conflict, yet global leaders woefully neglect this issue in international diplomacy, focusing rather on political engagement and conventional nation state politics.


Vasiliauskas: Eurozone drama too protracted, economy needs stronger impulse

The Lithuanian central bank governor says that the eurozone's economic recovery is too slow and fragile and monetary accommodation alone is not sufficient to get the economic engine running at full throttle, informs LETA/BNS.


At the focus of attention: demanded 20 mln euros

Rietumu Bank's President Alexander Pankov interview for Dienas Bizness (DB) about the "Panama documents" and related issues.


Putra: Latvian financial sector should work like a Swiss clock

Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry Edgar Putra thinks that the bank or the financial services industry Latvian should evolve in quality, rather than quantity direction, so that Latvia, like Switzerland, after some time be able to say that our banks work as precisely as a Swiss clock. Politician points to the important role of banks in economic growth, while developping loans.


Can Nord Stream 2 be stopped?

Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russian-German pipeline project, is generating fierce opposition in Central and Eastern Europe as well as from the European Parliament and the European Commission. But could the opponents of the pipeline, owned 50% by Gazprom and 50% by some of the largest Western European companies, stop the project?

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