The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/ The Baltic Course - International Internet Magazine. Baltic States News & Analysis, Baltic market reviews eng Mon, 22 Jan 2018 02:27:17 +0200 Baltic Course, The baltic-course@baltic-course.com dmitrijs@mansbirojs.lv In 2018, Riga port will continue entering new markets for cargo and passenger attraction http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136949 In 2018, the marketing activities of the Freeport of Riga Authority will be focused both on preserving existing markets and active work in new regions, attracting new cargo and passenger flows to the port, In the marketing area, the Freeport of Riga Authority will continue strategic cooperation with port operators, supporting them in attracting cargo and investments, informed BC port’s press service. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0200 1516384800 Enterprise Estonia will continue with major investor support measure in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136946 Enterprise Estonia (EAS) is planning to continue with the major investor support measure this year. "The plan is to continue with the measure in 2018," EAS spokesperson Mariann Sudakov told BNS. More detailed information about the measure will be disclosed during the first quarter of 2018, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0200 1516374000 Bigger wages, support to manufacturing among Latvian EcoMin priorities in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136947 Bigger wages and support to the manufacturing industry are among the priorities of the Latvian Economics Ministry in 2018, the ministry said, cites LETA. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0200 1516374000 Lithuanian building firms criticize new rules for hiring foreign workers http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=136944 Lithuania's "white list" aimed at making it easier to hire workers from third countries has already drawn considerable interest from road haulers, but builders want a different instrument, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on Friday, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516370400 Ikea boosts forest holdings in Lithuania to 15,000 ha http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136941 Sweden's furniture group Ikea has increased its forest holdings in Lithuania by 50% to 15,000 hectares over the past 12 months, catching up with Euroforest, the largest investor in Lithuanian forests until recently, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on Friday, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0200 1516366800 Swedbank economist: Euribor may reach zero at end of 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136942 Swedbank chief economist Tonu Mertsina said that the Euribor rate may be close to zero by the end of this year, the news portal of the Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:30:00 +0200 1516365000 Renewable energy accounted for 16.8% Estonia's electricity consumption in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=136939 Renewable energy made up 16.9% of the total amount of electric energy consumed in Estonia in 2017, while altogether 1,612 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy was produced in the 12 months, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0200 1516363200 Latvian beer output up 10.3% in January-November http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136937 In the first 11 months of 2017, beer output in Latvia was 76.38 million liters, which is a growth by 10.3% from the same period in the previous year, writes LETA, according to the information from the Excise Goods Administration of the Latvian State Revenue Service. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516359600 Estonia admits need to change Aliens Act http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136938 The Estonian government at its Thursday's meeting decided to start a procedure for amending the Aliens Act to bring it into conformity with EU law, as required by the European Commission, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516359600 Bank of Latvia amends Credit Register regulations http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=136924 The Council of the Bank of Latvia has amended the regulations concerning the Credit Register, LETA was told at the central bank’s press office. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516356000 Riga nominated for European Best Destination 2018 title http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136925 The Latvian capital city Riga has been included in the list of 20 European cities nominated for this year’s European Best Destination title, Live Riga representative Anna Blaua told LETA. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516356000 Orkla Foods Latvia raises exports by 21.5% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136928 Orkla Foods Latvija, created by merging the operations of Latvian food companies Spilva and Gutta, raised export volumes by 21.5% in 2017, the company’s head Lolita Bemhena told LETA. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516356000 Estonian president, Juncker focus on EU future, budget http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=136929 During a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker discussed matters of the future of the European Union, shaping of the new financial period, the union's energy policy, Eastern Partnership and large infrastructure projects, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516356000 Ambassador: Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel would be important connection for Finland http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136930 Finnish ambassador to Estonia Kirsti Narinen said that the Tallinn-Helsinki railway tunnel would be an important connection with continental Europe for Finland, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516356000 Latvian millionaire builds beach house, officially proves it is ''a ship'' http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=136927 A beach house built by the very sea in Latvia’s western Pavilosta county has been legally declared "a ship", Kursas Laiks newspaper reported. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +0200 1516354200 MFA: Estonia put on Ukraine's list of tax havens by mistake http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136926 Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that the decision of the Ukrainian government to add Estonia to its list of tax havens was made by mistake and added that the Foreign Ministry is working to eliminate this situation, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516352400 Estonia to compensate aid given to ship guards held in India http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136922 The Estonian government on January 18th decided to allocate money from its reserve to the Foreign Ministry to compensate it for the unsecured aid given to the Estonian ship guards released from prison in India in December 2017, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516348800 Port of Tallinn to sell equipment of Muuga coal terminal http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136923 The state-owned port company AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn) has put on sale the assets and structures of the Muuga coal terminal for up to 3.3 million euros with the plan of clearing out the quayside and having it make money, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516348800 Hanner to invest EUR 80 mln in projects in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136919 Lithuania's real estate developer Hanner will invest 80 million euros in real estate projects in 2018, which is a rise by almost a third, from 61 million euros, in 2017, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516345200 Lithuania's Constitutional Court chairman met with Crimea's Tatars in Kiev http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states_cis/?doc=136920 Crimea is part of Ukraine, regardless of annexation of the peninsula by Russia four years ago, Lithuania's Constitutional Court chairman Dainius Zalimas said at a meeting with Crimea's Tatars in Kiev, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516345200 Lithuanian healthmin: no sense in sugar tax amid plans to improve product contents http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136921 Sugar tax is not planned in Lithuania for now, as the content of sugar in products should be reduced through agreements with manufacturers, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga says, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516345200 22.1% Latvia’s population at risk of poverty http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136909 Data of the survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in 2017 show that 425 thousand persons or 22.1% of Latvia population were at risk of poverty (1) in 2016 – 0.3 percentage points less than in 2015. Equivalent income of this part of the population were below 330 euros monthly. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:00:00 +0200 1516294800 Latvian business angels invest EUR 15.4 mln in various projects in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136908 In 2017, Latvia’s private investors or business angels supported various business projects with investments worth EUR 15.4 million in total, with EUR 2.9 million of this amount invested in 34 startups, writes LETA, according to information released by the Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN). Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:00:00 +0200 1516291200 Nordica is not legal successor of Estonian Air http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136907 Jaan Tamm, CEO of state-owned Estonian Airline company Nordic Aviation Group operating under the Nordica brand, said that Nordica is a viable company and that it is not the legal successor of Estonia's former national airline Estonian Air, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0200 1516287600 Capital of Latvia's private pension funds grows 14.2% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=136906 In 2017, Latvia's private pension funds increased their aggregate capital by EUR 53.863 million or 14.2% to EUR 434.459 million, writes LETA, according to the information from manapensija.lv portal. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516284000 Liepaja port raises cargo turnover by 16% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136902 The Liepaja port in south-western Latvia reloaded 6.589 million tons of cargo last year, which is a 16% rise from 2016,writes LETA, according to the management of the Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0200 1516280400 Lithuania's annual growth of housing prices bigger than EU's in Q3 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136903 Housing prices in Lithuania grew by 8.5% in the third quarter of 2017 year-on-year, which made the growth among the biggest in the European Union, figures from the EU statistics office Eurostat showed on Thursday, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0200 1516280400 Ukraine adds Estonia and Latvia to list of tax havens http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states_cis/?doc=136898 Ukraine has added Estonia to its list of tax havens effective from the start of 2018, Eesti Paevaleht said, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516275000 Smuggled cigarettes account for 19.6% of Lithuania's market http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136900 The 2017 growth of the amount of illicit tobacco products in Lithuania was the biggest over the past five years, with smuggled cigarettes accounting for nearly a fifth of the cigarette consumption level, according to an empty pack survey carried out by Nielsen, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516275000 Applications for Estonian startup visa filed from 47 countries during 1st year http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136897 Altogether 325 applications from 47 countries were filed in the framework of the Estonian startup visa program over the course of its first year of existence, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516273200 Migration and the Lithuanian economy http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/direct_speech/?doc=136881 During the last two decades, Lithuania has experienced a very high rate of population mobility, which peaked during the early years of EU membership (2004–2006) and once again during the recent economic and financial crisis (2009–2011). Lithuanian workers took advantage of economic opportunities abroad and made the most of free movement within the EU and EEA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516269600 Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136886 Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets - including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law -came under attack around the world, the U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House said in its annual report, cites LETA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516269600 Riga airport serves 12.9% more passengers in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136887 Riga International Airport served 6.098 million passengers in 2017, which is a 12.9% growth from 2016, the airport informed LETA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516269600 EU Commission approves EUR 140 mln support for Vilnius CHP plant http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=136888 The European Commission has approved almost 140 million euros in additional support for the construction of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Vilnius, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516269600 Klaipeda port projects slight drop in cargo volumes in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136885 The Lithuanian seaport of Klaipeda forecasts that cargo volumes will fall slightly this year from last year's record high levels, a senior executive of the port said on January 17th, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +0200 1516267800 Latvian, Spanish PMs agree on necessity to step up economic cooperation http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=136883 Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during their meeting yesterday agreed on the necessity to step up economic cooperation between both countries, Kucinskis’ office reported LETA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516266000 Wind power plants in Lithuania generate record amount of electricity in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136884 Wind farms operating in Lithuania in 2017 generated the largest amount of electricity throughout the history of the country's wind energy, with the production volume growing by an annual 20% to 1.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2017 year-on-year, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516266000 Latvia spent EUR 65.1 mln on road maintenance in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136882 Latvia spent EUR 65.1 million on road maintenance in 2017, Aldis Lacis, director of the road management and maintenance department of the state-owned company Latvijas Valsts Celi (Latvian State Roads), told journalists on January 17th, cites LETA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:30:00 +0200 1516264200 Grindex expects 2018 turnover to grow at least 10% y-o-y http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136879 Latvian pharmaceutical company Grindex expects its 2018 turnover to grow at least 10% compared to 2017, the company said in a statement submitted to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange, cites LETA. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516262400 Estonia's Center for Defense Investment, Milrem extend IFV maintenance contract http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136880 The Estonian Center for Defense Investment has extended a contract with Milrem LCM on the repair and maintenance of Patria XA-180 and XA-188 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) by four years until 2022, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516262400 Estonia and Lithuania register fastest inflation in eurozone in December http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136877 Annual inflation in the eurozone slowed by 0.1 percentage points in December 2017 to 1.4%, and the fastest inflation was registered in Estonia and Lithuania - 3.8%, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516258800 LETA news agency hit by DDoS attack on Wednesday http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=136878 The Latvian news agency LETA survived a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Wednesday, January 17th. Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516258800 New Pact for Europe report: EU needs reforms already in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136865 "Re-energizing EU: a Package Deal for the EU27", the final report of the discussion series New Pact for Europe (NPE) initiated by European foundations will be presented in Tallinn on Wednesday, while the report is suggesting that the European Union start with reforms already in 2018, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:00:00 +0200 1516204800 Airobot starts manufacture of smart ventilation devices in Tallinn http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136864 The Tallinn-based company Airobot OU has begun the manufacture of a smart heat recovery ventilation unit developed by Estonian scientists, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0200 1516201200 Meeting between Estonian PM, German businesses in Hamburg raises issue of workforce http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136863 Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas at a meeting with heads of businesses operating in Estonia based on German capital in Hamburg on Tuesday said that the Cabinet will soon discuss issues concerning foreign workforce, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516197600 Number of residence permits issued to foreigners for employment up 26% in Estonia in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136861 The number of residence permits issued for employment in Estonia rose 26% on year to 2,273 permits issued in 2017, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0200 1516190400 Lithuania's growth of new car sales EU's biggest in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136862 Lithuania's new car sales grew at the fastest rate in the EU in 2017, figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) showed on Wednesday, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0200 1516190400 Bronka port keen to direct bulk goods away from Baltic ports http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136858 Feniks LLC, a company running a multipurpose marine freight handling complex at Bronka Port of St. Petersburg, is planning to build railway infrastructure by 2022 to redirect the handling of bulk cargoes from ports in the Baltic countries to Russia, informs LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516188600 Sweden's Benify coming to Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136855 Benify, the Swedish developer of benefit and compensation management tools for businesses, is coming to Lithuania, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516186800 Government agrees on setting up Latvian Anti-Doping Agency http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136857 The Cabinet of Ministers on January 16th approved draft agreements to the Sports Law, which have been drawn up by the Health Ministry, thus agreeing to set up a separate institution - the Latvian Anti-Doping Agency - which would work under the Health Ministry’s supervision, informs LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516186800 SEB, Garage48 to stage open banking hackathon in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/forums/?doc=136839 SEB and Garage48 will stage an open banking weekend on Feb. 16-18 the main aim of which is to create next generation financial services, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516183200 Probe launched in Latvia over unauthorized access to data of users of e-health system http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136844 The Latvian Data State Inspectorate has launched a probe into possible unauthorized access by third parties to the personal data of the users of the e-health system, the inspectorate said, cites LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516183200 Estonian PM emphasizes need to move on with digital issues in EU http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=136845 Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas when summing up the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union at the European Parliament on January 16th emphasized the need to move on with digital issues, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516183200 Number of M&A transactions in Baltics to grow in infrastructure, transport http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136846 The number of transactions on the mergers and acquisitions market of Estonia and the Baltic countries alike is set to continue this year, and in addition to the financial and telecom sectors increases are due to take place in infrastructure and transport, Toomas Prangli, managing partner at Sorainen law office, said, cites LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516183200 Government approves final documents for demarcation of Latvia-Russia border http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states_cis/?doc=136841 The Latvian government on January 16th approved the final documents for the demarcation of the state border between Latvia and Russia, signed last year by representatives of the two neighbor countries, reports LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516179600 Tourism Departament suspends Travelonline Baltics' license http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/tourism/?doc=136842 Lithuania's State Tourism Department has suspended the license of Travelonline Baltics after failing to establish whether the tour operator had enough insurance, therefore, the company's clients will not be able to use the company's services until the end of the month, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516179600 Testing of electronic traffic signs with changing information successful in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136843 The Estonian Road Administration will install electronic traffic signs with changing information permanently in the second half of this year as the approximately month long testing period of the signs was successful, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516179600 Nordica's passenger numbers surge to 613,000 in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136838 The state owned Estonian airline company Nordic Aviation Group operating under the Nordica brand carried 613,000 passengers in 2017, 63% more than during the year before, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:30:00 +0200 1516177800 Barclays has no expansion plans in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=136840 Barclays' technology center in Vilnius currently has no expansion plans, a top executive of the UK bank's Lithuanian unit said on January 16th, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:30:00 +0200 1516177800 Clean R plans to build new plant in Riga for processing plastic bags http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136835 Waste management company Clean R is planning to build a plant in Riga that will recycle plastic bags to produce plastic granules, Latvijas Avize newspaper wrote on January 16th, cites LETA. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516176000 Smaller duty hike in Estonia will reduce risks from border trade http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136837 The cut in the planned increase of the alcohol excise duty endorsed by the Estonian parliament on Tuesday reduces the risks related to cross-border trade, Estonia's Minister of Finance Toomas Toniste said, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516176000 Latvia and Georgia pledge to develop strategic partnership http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136836 Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) and Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze signed a cooperation agreement between the parliaments of the two countries yesterday, LETA was told at the Saeima press office. Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516172400 100,000 people with higher education have left Latvia this century http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136821 Latvia has lost around 100,000 of its residents with higher education to emigration between 2000 and 2016, University of Latvia professor Mihails Hazans said in an interview with LNT commercial TV channel today, cites LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0200 1516114800 Tax revenue to Latvian budget 1.1% above target in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=136822 Revenue to the Latvian budget administrated by the State Revenue Service met the target by 101.1% in 2017, the tax authority said, cites LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516111200 Juncker praises Estonian EU presidency http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=136817 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker highly praised the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0200 1516107600 Estonia to dredge channel between Hiiumaa, mainland to depth of 5.4 m http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136815 The Estonian Maritime Administration is planning to perform maintenance and dredging works in the Rukki ship channel between the mainland and the island of Hiiumaa in 2018 to ensure a depth of at least 5.4 meters along the channel's entire length, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:00:00 +0200 1516104000 MP claims e-health system has been hacked in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=136811 Latvia’s e-health system was “disrupted” by malicious hackers last Thursday, January 11, Aija Barca (Greens/Farmers), chairwoman of the Saeima Social and Labor Affairs Committee, claimed on Latvian Radio this morning, cites LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516102200 Nights spent by guests at Latvia's hotels rose by 12.1% in January-November http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136813 The number of nights spent by guests at Latvia’s hotels and other tourist facilities in the first 11 months of 2017 grew by 12.1% against the same period last year to 4.624 million, writes LETA, according to the data released by the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB). Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516102200 Cbank: Estonia must be cautious dealing with crypto currencies http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=136793 Estonia must exercise caution when linking the country to crypto currencies, Bank of Estonia vice president Madis Muller said on January 15th, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516096800 Why Europe needs Nord Stream 2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136798 As Europe’s domestic gas production is projected to halve in the coming years, additional gas imports through the Baltic Sea will be needed to safeguard security of supply. EU experts estimate the supply gap at around 120 billion cubic metres (bcm). Gas is becoming an increasingly important part of the energy mix in Germany and other EU countries, informed BC Nord Stream’s press service. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516096800 Lithuanian movies generate EUR 4.5 mln in cinemas in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136799 Audiences in Lithuania's cinemas increased last year, with Lithuanian productions also gaining popularity, shows data published by the Lithuanian Film Center, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516096800 Latvian court decides to hand Skinest Rail bribery case to court in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136800 A Latvian court decided on January 15th that the case of the Estonian company Skinest Rail will be separated from the bribery case of Ugis Magonis, former CEO of Latvian Railways, and sent to an Estonian court for trial, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516096800 Some asylum seekers, who had left Latvia, have returned http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136812 Some of the asylum seekers that had left Latvia after relocation have returned here in recent months, Sandra Zalclame, the head of the nongovernmental organization Shelter “Safe House”, told LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516096800 Magnitsky list made public, includes Kadyrov http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136795 The Lithuanian Migration Department on January 15th made public a list of 49 Russian nationals banned from entering the country over human rights violations and money laundering, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516093200 Estonian hotels: Russian New Year tourist numbers grew by 10% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136796 An estimated 10% more Russian tourists than last year visited Estonia during the past Christmas, New Year and Orthodox Christmas holiday season, Verni Loodmaa, chairman of the board of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association said. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516093200 Apartment prices in Soviet-time houses in Riga down 0.5% in December http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=136797 In December 2017, apartment prices in Soviet-time standard design houses in Riga dropped 0.5% from November, shows a price indicator drawn up by the Latvian Real Estate Association (LANIDA), cites LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516093200 Estonian PM would like joint data exchange platform for Baltic, Nordic countries http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=136791 Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that the joint data exchange platform initiated between Estonia and Finland should expand to include all Baltic and Nordic countries, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516089600 Belarusian Culture Center planned in historic wooden house in Vilnius http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136792 The Vilnius City Municipality is considering reconstructing a protected cultural value – a wooden building in an emergency condition in the Uzupis neighborhood that would accommodate a center of cultural exchange with Belarus, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516089600 Lithuania's 2017 apartment, house prices highest in decade http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=136794 Prices of apartments and individual houses in many parts of Lithuania were the highest in 2017 over the past decade, setting new records in some segments of the market and rising above pre-crisis indicators, the Center of Registers said, cites LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516089600 Graudina/Kravcenoka win silver at Beach Volleyball European Masters Pelhrimov http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136789 Latvian women's beach volleyball pair Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka on Sunday won silver the European Volleyball Confederation's (CEV) Beach Volleyball European Masters in the Czech Republic, informs LETA. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516086000 Estonian companies can be managed from abroad http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136790 Effective Jan. 15, an amendment to the Commercial Code came into force enabling companies registered in Estonia to be managed from abroad, provided that they have appointed a contact person in Estonia, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1516086000 Baltic States' electricity and gas connections with Europe http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136774 For historical reasons, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still being operated in close connection mode with the Russian and Belorussian systems. The synchronisation will bring closer a fully functioning and connected internal energy market and increase energy security of the Baltic States by 2025. The same type of “energy integration with the West is designed for the Baltic States’ gas system. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:00:00 +0200 1516032000 KVV Liepajas Metalurgs to be sold at auctions http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136777 The assets of Latvia’s insolvent steel company KVV Liepajas Metalurgs will be sold at auctions, the company’s insolvency administrator Guntars Koris has decided, informs LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516024800 Lithuania's exports growth remains EU's fastest in January-November http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136779 The growth of Lithuania's exports remained fastest among the EU's 28 member states in January through November 2017, figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat showed on January 15th, cites LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0200 1516024800 R&I raises Latvia's credit rating http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136772 Japanese credit ratings agency R&I announced today it has raised Latvia’s credit rating to A- from BBB+, representatives of the Treasury informed LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0200 1516021200 Getlini EKO plans to raise waste burial charge by 21.5% in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=136769 Getlini EKO, the operator of Getlini landfill, plans to raise its household burial charge by 21.5% in 2018, a publication in the official gazette Latvijas Vestnesis shows, cites LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:30:00 +0200 1516015800 Lithuania's PM urges Japanese colleague to step up economic ties http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136767 Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis met with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, and urged the countries to step up mutual economic relations, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516014000 Marriott International to open the AC Hotel Riga in 2019 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136768 In 2019, the international hotel group Mariott International plans to open the AC Hotel Riga is the building that currently houses the Albert Hotel, informs LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0200 1516014000 Latvia and Japan are similar thinking countries with great cooperation potential http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=136752 Latvia and Japan are similar thinking countries with great mutual cooperation potential, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said during a joint press conference in Riga on January 13th with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, cites LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516010400 Semarah Hotels invest EUR 30 mln in new 5-star Grand Poet Hotel in Riga http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136753 Semarah Hotels chain has invested EUR 30 million in a new five-star design hotel – Grand Poet Hotel – in Riga, the company’s representatives told LETA. The hotel opened on January 12th. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516010400 Cargo turnover of Latvian ports fell by 2% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136754 In 2017, Latvian ports reloaded a total of 61.877 million tons of cargo, or by 2% less than in 2016, writes LETA, according to the information released by the Transport Ministry. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516010400 World-wide sustainability policy framework: European approach http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/book_review/?doc=136778 First Eurostat monitoring report on SDGs in Europe provides essential evidences to identify the gaps which need to be closed in order to achieve SDGs and to make informed policy choices. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0200 1516010400 Latvijas Tilti, Borta to reconstruct Klaipeda port embankments http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136750 Latvijas Tilti, one of Latvia's largest road and bridge construction companies, together with Borta, company of the Lithuanian Kaminera group, will reconstruct two embankments of the Klaipeda port that are used by Klaipedos Konteineriu Terminalas (Klaipeda Container Terminal, KKT) for 23.985 million euros, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +0200 1516008600 Estonia, Japan share passion for digital world http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=136751 Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the two countries share the same values and passion for digital development, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:30:00 +0200 1516008600 Wages grew for 20% of employees in Latvia in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=136748 Just 20% of employees in Latvia saw their wages grow in 2017, an online survey by WorkingDay Latvia staffing company shows, cites LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516006800 Six face prosecution over forgery of documents during street repairs in Riga http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136749 The Prosecutor General’s Office has launched the prosecution of six persons over an alleged forgery of documents during renovation works on Krisjana Barona Street in Riga. The six persons are currently being presented with the charges laid against them, Una Reke, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office, told LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0200 1516006800 EU to pay for foreign traineeships of Russian-language journalists http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=136745 The European Union at the initiative of Estonian MEP Yana Toom is to pay for the foreign traineeships of journalists, who work in the media of EU member states in the languages of national minorities, including the Russian language, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516003200 Rail freight in Latvia decreased by 8.4% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=136746 Rail freight in Latvia amounted to 43.792 million tons in 2017, down 8.4% from 2016, the Transport Ministry said, cites LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516003200 Baltic Beer Company to produce cannabis-flavored beer in Tallinn http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136747 The U.K. based company Baltic Beer Company Ltd, which sells Estonian beer of the Viru Beer brand in several countries all over the world, is about to start producing beer containing various ingredients, seeds, extracts and terpenes from hemp and cannabis plants in Tallinn in collaboration with partners from Canada and Australia, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0200 1516003200 Wizz Air carries more than half a million passengers on Latvian flights in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=136743 Hungary’s low-costs airline Wizz Air carried 578,000 passengers on its Latvian flights in 2017, which is a 21% increase from a year before, Wizz Air representatives told LETA. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0200 1515999600