1st of January - Eurozone joined Latvia!

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Business Sector Is Getting Prepared for the Introduction of the Euro

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Jānis Endziņš, Board Chairman of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

“A lot of the manufacturers and service providers in Latvia have taken loans in euro since 2002, in order to expand their businesses and for EU funds co-financing. A majority of Latvia’s export markets use the euro, purchases of raw materials from Europe are done solely in the euro currency. Enterprise internal accounting and bookkeeping systems have also been adapted for the operations with this currency. Even competitor prices in the current and potential export markets are easier to monitor in euro.”

 

Contact:
LCCI Public Relations Department,
Tel.: + 371 26469946, + 371 67830825, e-mail: LTRK info@chamber.lv, www.chamber.lv

 

Employers’ Confederation of Latvia

Līga Meņģelsone, Director General of Employers’ Confederation of Latvia:

“Even though entrepreneurs will be mostly affected by inconveniences related to the changeover of the euro such as re-programming and adjusting cash registers, IT systems and accounting programmes in the outset phase, employers and employees will gain much more after the introduction of the euro. The investments sector will develop, the expenses on the part of currency conversion will decrease and loan interest rates may become more attractive. Thus, the development of enterprises will allow creating more workplaces that would mean giving more opportunities for employees and greater tax revenue for the state budget.

Latvia will be sitting at a table with all European Monetary Union member states and will have an opportunity to influence the decision-making. By joining a bigger monetary zone, the investments will grow affecting the rising welfare standard in the near future.”

Contact:
Jūlija Vasiļjeva,
Tel.: +371 29413906, +371 67225162, e-mail: prese@lddk.lv, www.lddk.lv

 

Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia (ACBL)

Mārtiņš Bičevskis, President of the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia: 

“The introduction of the euro in Latvia is an extensive public project, in which each and every person should be involved. The banks have been protractedly and responsibly preparing for the introduction of the euro since 2012 by evaluating the experience of our Estonian colleagues to the maximum possible extent. There are two main goals set by the banks in the process of the introduction of the euro. Firstly, it is necessary to ensure the changeover to the euro for clients in its most convenient, cheapest and intelligible possible way. Secondly, there is the overall need to enhance the application and popularity of e-services. In order to reach these goals, the banks, inclusively individual banks and Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia, assure business solutions for their clients and invest in informing the public.”

Contact:
Baiba Melnace, Communications Officer of ACBL,
Tel:. +371 67285189, e-mail:
baiba.melnace@bankasoc.lv, www.bankasoc.lv

 

Latvian Food Retailers Association

Noris Krūzītis, CEO of Latvian Food Retailers Association (LPTA):

“For retailers, the euro changeover means not only adopting IT and accounting systems but also the serious task of communication with consumers and simultaneous work with two currencies that might be complicated and raise security issues.

All members of LPTA have joined the initiative “Fair Euro Introducer” and implemented dual price display even before it was prescribed by law. Retailers partnered with the Bank of Latvia to train employees to handle the new currency. They also strongly cooperate with the State Police to reduce safety risks. Of course, there are some technical costs, but it should not have a serious impact on food prices.

The changeover to the euro will facilitate mutual payments between retailers and suppliers, especially suppliers outside Latvia – cooperation will be easier and quicker. Costs for currency exchange will be eliminated and bank service payments should become cheaper.”

Contact:
Noris Krūzītis, CEO of Latvian Food Retailers Association,
Tel:. +371 29 477 977; e-mail: noris.kruzitis@tirgotaji.lv, www.tirgotaji.lv

 

Initiative “Fair Euro Introducer”

 

Inga Latkovska, Board Chairwoman of public relations and communication management consulting company LEAD. Corporative Communication:

“LEAD. Corporative Communication” coordinates the entrepreneurs’ initiative “Fair Euro Introducer”, which aims at fair and transparent introduction of the euro in Latvia and protecting Latvia’s population against unjustified rise of prices during the process of the introduction of the euro.

The basic principles of the Memorandum of the initiative invite us not to use the introduction of the euro for raising prices. The recalculation of prices from lats to euro should be in compliance with the official currency conversion rate. It further invites us to indicate clear prices in lats and euro during the period of dual display of prices, as well as enhance awareness of employees in the matters related to the introduction of the euro and support the initiative in the entrepreneurship setting in general. By the beginning of November, more than 10,000 commerce and service providers had joined the initiative throughout Latvia, including retailers and medical centres, petrol stations, service providers of public utilities, cafes and beauty salons. The initiative has the support of the most significant professional organisations of Latvian entrepreneurs.”

Contact:
Inga Latkovska, Board Chairwoman
“LEAD. Corporative Communication”
Tel.: +371 29455254, e-mail: inga.latkovska@lead.lv, www.godigs.lv

 

Enterprise of commerce and service centres with experience in Estonia

Priit Prints, Director of Mecro Group in Estonia, owner of STOKKER brand:

“The most crucial benefit from the currency conversion will be the non-existent currency conversion inconveniences and expenses that are covered concurrently by Mecro Group and STOKKER for purchasing goods from Europe, where the euro already exists. In my opinion, the euro makes life more convenient for every enterprise having business abroad.

The changeover from one currency to another is not a standard process. Every country experiences it in a different way. Even with the support of the European Union, all processes cannot be considered as absolute, therefore it is essential to prepare for them in advance and evaluate the experience of other countries. On our part, we can suggest to enterprises to complete the deals of year 2013 by January 1 2014. It was seen as additional work load for the administrative staff in the transition period in Estonia, yet due to their organised work and trade union, the transition proceeded with no problems. In order to decrease the inconveniences, the company’s self-initiative and involvement in concurrent processes is crucial. Informed employees about the forthcoming changes, training and adjustments of information systems, as well as informed clients will decrease possible uncertainty. Latvia has all the necessary administrative measures in place. We will definitely help our colleagues in Latvia with valuable and practical advice for simplifying the transition period.”

Contact:
Elīna Neimane,  STOKKER Public Relations Specialist
Tel.: +371 25423526, +371 67245590;  e-mail: elina.neimane@stoller.lv, www.stokker.lv

 

A small farm and tourism company from Kurland

Silvija Tetere, Owner of the marmot farm Jaunstuči:

“Even though we are a rather small company, the interest of tourists is plentiful with tourist buses, individual tourists and wedding guests coming in every weekend. We would also like to assure that the prices for our clients in the process of the introduction of the euro will not rise. It is the question of our responsibility and honour! I am convinced that tourism companies should take an active part in the initiative “Fair Euro Introducer” as it will help to form trustworthy and responsible relationships with our clients. “

Contact:
Silvija Tetere, Owner of Jaunstuči
e-mail: silvija@teteris.lv,  www.murkskis.lv