Latvia´s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is a cautious optimist regarding the future economic growth in the Baltic States – especially Latvia. At a high-level roundtable discussion at the Baltic Development Forum´s new premises Dombrovskis underlined that cooperation, business and trade in the Baltic Sea Region – plus a high ability to absorb EU regional funds – have made it possible for Latvia to overcome the global crisis. A crisis that reduced the Latvian BNP by 18 percent in 2009. At the same time, the country has gradually turned its economy from being consumer oriented to be more export oriented. Latvia has turned the economy into being one of the best performing with the highest growth rates in Europe. In 2011 the growth in BNP was 5,5 percent and for 2012 it will be around 2 percent.
In an interview in the Danish daily newspaper Børsen Dombrovskis said: “We succeeded by making the necessary reforms at once. If you – like Greece and Spain – go on postponing reforms you automatically prolong the recession because it will also prolong the mistrust for their economy.”
Valdis Dombrovskis last year released a book “How Latvia came through the financial crisis” – co-authored with the Swedish economist Anders Åslund. It was a book that received positive reviews from a number of European leaders and analyst especially because it gives a rare insider’s look at how a national government responds to a global financial crisis, makes tough quick choices and leads the country back to economic growth.
At the roundtable discussions – chaired by Hans Skov Christensen, Chairman of BDF – future regional cooperation on infrastructure development was the main topic. Both the EU Connecting Europe project and more bi-lateral and regional topics were on the agenda (harbors, trains, flights) with participants from a.o. SAS Group, Copenhagen Airports, Confederation of Danish Industries, Siemens and DLG.
After the discussions Valdis Dombrovskis inaugurated the new Baltic Development Forum premises at Nytorv 3, 1st floor – during a reception attended by around 60 guests.
Photos from the two events are available on Flickr for download and free use (Credit: Baltic Development Forum):
- Go to Set with photos from the business meeting with Prime Minister Dombrovskis
- Go to Set with photos from BDF House Warming Reception
Contact: Dan Axel firstname.lastname@example.org