Artūrs Toms Plešs

Riga, February 3, 2021 - Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Artūrs Toms Plešs met today with representatives of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) to discuss topical issues under the responsibility of the Ministry that affect different areas of business.

Minister Plešs talked with representatives of LTRK about the possible support for economic heating, reducing the negative impact on the economy caused by Covid-19, as well as the introduction of municipal reform, the cooperation between the Ministry and LTRK, jointly looking for the best ways to make Latvia a greener state while creating new industries and jobs.

Minister Artur Toms Plešs (AP!): “The role of the government and society today is to fight the spread of Covid-19 infection, but at the same time we must also think about support for business, jobs both at this time and after the pandemic. We have provided a number of support instruments for the development of investment and infrastructure projects in municipalities, both as government loan programmes and fund funds s. I am convinced that the administratively territorial reform that will increase municipal capacity will also serve as a good basis for business development and investment in regions. I also call on LTRK, like other social partners, to work with the Ministry to make Latvia a greener and more prosperous country and to work towards creating new areas and jobs by developing the green economy, including the revival of the circular economy and the wider digitalisation."

The minister stressed that, like last year, a municipal lending program is also scheduled for this year. Local government loans are expected to increase by €150,000 this year, including a continuation of the loan programme launched last year. The availability of such funding is a major support not only for the growth of the municipality, but also in these circumstances, which is particularly important, provides support for entrepreneurs and enables people to work through municipal construction and other development projects.

The draft plan of the Latvian Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (ANM) was highlighted as an important topic in the negotiations. . It is scheduled to be submitted to the government earlier this month. The purpose of this financial instrument is to contribute to the recovery of European countries from the Covid-19 pandemic in the negative effects m. The ANM plan provides funding for areas that contribute to the transition to the green and digital economy and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. In particular, in order to support business and job opportunities in the regions, 82,5 mil J. the euro from the financing of the ANM plan will be invested in regional industrial parks, organising the areas concerned and building out the public infrastructure needed for industrial parks, including engineering communications, roadways, etc.

In order to contribute to the reduction of inequalities in the country, The ANM supports the activities of administratively territorial reform. . The plan foresees 102.3 mil J. the euro for the rehabilitation and rehabilitation of national regional and local roads, which are also essential for the development of business in the regions. The Minister reiterated that the alignment of the road network in the context of administratively territorial reform is A priority: 20 million have been diverted to road repairs planned in the context of administrative territorial reform last year, budget of 27 million euro this year, the government plans to decide 50 mil in the near future J. channelling the euro to the renewal or construction of the road network. Overall, over the next three years, 300 mil will be diverted to renewables under the National Development Plan in the context of reform.

The Minister also discussed with the representatives of the LTRK the possibilities of redeploying the economy in line with the progress towards climate neutrality and the availability of EU funds for these purposes. Minister informed representatives of the host organisation regarding the National Waste Management Plan for 2021-2028 approved by the government. This reform also includes new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the development of new industries in the circular economy. Plešs pointed out that the EU funds will be available for waste management and the transition to the circular economy model during the programming period 2021-2027. euro.

At the same time, talks were made on the reform of the digital transformation by the Ministry, which aims both to provide a wider range of digital services, including cross-border services, and to make data available to economic operators more widely.

Information prepared by:
Agnese Vārpiņa
Minister's advisor for communication and public relations,
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Tel. 67026478