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Ministers of Finance: Baltic economies recover faster than expected

Date

2011 01 11

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Riga, 11 January. Finance ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia say that economic recovery in all three Baltic states is faster than expected. Further economic growth at large extend will depend on developments in global and EU economies.

Finance Ministers of Latvia – Mr. Andris Vilks, Lithuania – Ms. Ingrida Šimonytė and Estonia – Mr. Jürgen Ligi, met today in Riga (the Republic of Latvia) for the annual meeting of Baltic Finance Ministers.

The Ministers also discussed fiscal issues - the budget execution, the plans for 2011 and fiscal consolidation measures as well as underlined the importance to continue with the structural reforms. It was concluded that the Baltic States should keep the strong commitment towards the fiscal discipline in future fiscal strategies to ensure the sustainability of public finances within the medium and long term.

The Ministers recognized the need for increased cooperation among the Baltic States regarding the tax policy by ensuring regular exchange of information. As Latvia has introduced the financial stability fee, there was also an exchange of views on bank levies. The Ministers agreed that the introduction of levies on financial institutions ensures a fair burden-sharing and sets incentives to contain the systemic risk.

Having discussed the importance of successful absorption of the EU funds for the economic growth, the Ministers expressed their interest to commence an exchange of experience among public procurement experts, including EU funds’ experts, of all the three Baltic States on a regular basis. The Ministers also noted that more active use of financial engineering instruments such as credits, loans and venture capital can contribute in an efficient and innovative way for upholding the economic development.

The Minister of Finance of Lithuania presented Lithuania’s experience in launching state-owned companies and real estate properties management reform. The Ministers agreed to develop further cooperation in implementing these reforms in the Baltic States. 

Continuing the good practice to have a regular dialogue among Finance Ministers of the Baltic States, it is planned that the next meeting will take place in Lithuania.