On November 30, finance and investment experts from the Nordic Investment Bank and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia convened at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Latvian Office. The discussions centered on exploring the investment landscape, identifying opportunities in Latvia, and fostering collaboration within the Nordic-Baltic region.
The meeting aimed to delve into the current financial and investment landscape, evaluating the potential for foreign investments in Latvia. Presentations were delivered by Kaspars Pīlādzis, Senior Banker at the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) responsible for cooperation with Latvian partners, and Ivi Anna Buce, Director of the Investment Projects Department at the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). Attendees gained insights into NIB’s extensive initiatives, covering not only Latvia but also a broader Baltic and Nordic region. The session provided a comprehensive overview of ambitious financing and lending opportunities for entrepreneurs. The bank extends its financial support to large-scale and high-risk projects requiring substantial investments.
In recent years, NIB loans have helped to implement these ambitious development projects in Latvia:
- 61.1 million EUR loan agreement with JSC “Ķekava ABT” for the construction of the Ķekava bypass project, Latvia’s first large private-public partnership.
- 10-year contract with AS “Rīgas Siltums”: 20 million EUR support to be used for the 2022–2023 investment programme to improve district heating infrastructure in Riga.
- 10-year agreement with the Republic of Latvia for a loan of 500 million EUR to finance additional public expenditure to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 15-year loan agreement with Latvenergo JSC for 100 million EUR for investment in the electricity distribution network to improve the security of electricity supply and quality of service.
The LIAA representative delivered an inspiring presentation spotlighting successful Latvian companies that have realized their ambitions while, at the same time, elevating Latvia’s global standing. Sharing key financial indicators and the available support, encompassing both financial aid and advisory services, she emphasized Latvia’s economic growth outpacing the EU average. During the Q&A session, she praised Latvian companies’ achievements in the fields of IT, technology, pharmaceuticals, and bioeconomy. Challenging the common notion of Estonia being a step ahead of Latvia, she highlighted Latvia’s high-achieving entrepreneurs and technological innovations, considering the perception of Estonia’s upper-hand position being just a matter of better national marketing.
Kaspars Pīlādzis emphasized the Nordic Investment Bank’s commitment to collaborate rather than compete with both LIAA and commercial banks in Latvia. The substantial available financing aims to catalyze a rapid breakthrough in the development of Latvia. NIB actively contributes to building a sustainable environment by incorporating project criteria such as pollution reduction, efficient resource use, development of eco-technologies, and climate change mitigation in support assessments. In recent years, Nordic country investments have significantly fueled economic activity in Latvia, not only through NIB but also via commercial banks. Moreover, the majority of LIAA’s funding is sourced from Swedish investments. All that underlines the importance of strong Nordic-Baltic cooperation and marks Latvia as a valued regional partner.
In August of this year, NIB inaugurated its regional office in Riga, solidifying commitment of the Nordic countries to investing in Baltic State projects. NIB’s shareholders represent all Baltic States and the five Nordic countries, including Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden.
The event, hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office, gathered finance and investment experts, chamber of commerce and industry representatives, various associations and companies, as well as media representatives and other interested parties. Presentations were held in English and a video from the LIVE streaming on Facebook will be accessible for 30 days after the event.