After a comparatively strong growth in 2015, when the Latvian economy was able to demonstrate a solid stability in light of the shocks of external environment, the economic growth in 2016 slowed down by 1.4% (in the first three quarters of the year). This was largely due to continuously unfavourable situation in the external environment, as well as a slower introduction of the resources of the European Union (EU) funds, in light of the change of the fund planning periods.
To raise the level of knowledge of the public administration auditors and strengthen the professional international partnership, the Ministry of Finance, as the internal audit coordinator, on 19 and 20 December organised the bilateral Latvian -Norwegian experience exchange seminar for internal auditors "Effective Governance and Efficiency Audit in the Norwegian Government Administration".
On Tuesday, December 20, at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting the informative communication on launching the official bilateral negotiations for the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Norwegian Financial Mechanisms in Latvia for the period 2014 - 2021 was reviewed. The gross allocation to Latvia during the said period of time within the scope of both financial mechanisms comprises 102.1 million euros, with approximately 20 million euros whereof being designated in accordance with the approved implementation framework (administrative costs of the Donor States, mandatory 5% reserve, fund for promotion of bilateral cooperation, technical assistance, mandatory NGO fund, etc.), whereas 80.2 million euros are to be allocated to the introduction of the investment programmes.
On Friday, November 4, the international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed Latvia's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings at 'A-' with Stable outlook.
On Friday, September 30, due to the favourable conditions in the international capital markets, Latvia issued a new 10 year bond amounting EUR 650 million. The coupon was set at the historically lowest level 0,375% (yield 0,456%). Demand for Latvia’s new bonds exceeded 2,6 times the issuance size.
According to the latest data for the European Commission’s 2014-2020 planning period, Latvia is on the 6th place among 28 member states based on the country’s performed payments. In regards to the volume of requested payments, Latvia is 4th among EU member states.
On Wednesday, June 15 the high-level working seminar of the representatives of the government, social and cooperation partners and the experts of the World Bank (WB), the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) and the European Commission (EC) was held regarding Latvia's tax policy challenges in the medium term planning period. The seminar was opened by the Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.
On Tuesday, May 24, the Minister for Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola and the Cyprus Minister for Finance Charis Georgiades signed the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of Cyprus for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. This will promote the commercial activity, attraction of foreign investments, as well as facilitate the activities of investors in Latvia and Cyprus.
On Tuesday, May 10, Latvia issued so far its longest maturity - 20-year - bonds in amount of EUR 650 million at the lowest borrowing rate among CEE countries for similar long-term transactions, with an annual fixed interest (coupon) rate 1,375% (yield 1,514%) and which was priced at the same coupon level as Latvia’s 10-year bond issued in September 2015. Demand for Latvia’s bonds exceeded 3 times the offer.
On Thursday, April 21, in the Ministry of Finance (MoF) already the eighth annual meeting of the Latvian-Swiss Cooperation Programme was held. At the meeting the representatives of the MoF and project implementers discussed the progress of implementation of the Swiss cooperation programme with the representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in Latvia.
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