Latvia remains in the high 19th place on the Doing Business index

Latvia maintains its high 19th place among 190 countries on the latest Doing Business index, according to the publisher of the index World Bank. On the list of European Union countries Latvia places 7th, which is a one spot climb compared to its ranking last year. Doing Business index evaluates countries in a number of areas, such as taxes and new business registering process, and assigns percentage points to determine how business-friendly each country is. In comparison to its performance last year, Latvia has either received an increased or the same amount of percentage points in all categories.

There are various international indexes for the assessment of the business environment and business-friendliness of countries, among which the most popular is the annual Doing Business index by the World Bank. The Doing Business rating serves not only as a comparative assessment of the world's countries in certain business areas, but also reflects global developments in world markets. International indices enable entrepreneurs to understand the business prospects in a given country and, thus, reflect the country's global competitiveness. They also show areas that require state involvement in reducing bureaucratic and other business barriers.

Using standardized scenarios as methodology, the World Bank's Doing Business rating quantifies and compares the regulatory conditions and procedures of 190 countries that relate to the 10 life-cycle stages of medium and small businesses. The rating evaluates formal procedures that promote or restrict business activity in each country’s largest city, assuming it is the center of the country’s business activity. Doing Business relies on respondents' opinions. In Latvia, those are 45 respondents from the non-governmental and public sectors.

The Doing Business rating is used in Latvia as a reform assessment tool that helps the government to determine the areas where the administrative burden is too high. The index helps to compare the number of administrative procedures and the time it takes to complete them as well as any related costs. Additionally, the index helps to evaluate the business environment as a whole.

The annual Entrepreneurial Environment Improvement Action Plan, formulated by the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, is a government instrument that lists specific tasks for improving the business environment by setting specific deadlines and listing corresponding institutions that are responsible for each task. Over the last few years, the government has been implementing numerous reforms and innovative ideas to improve the business environment in Latvia and make the Baltic state a truly business-friendly destination. Most recently, Latvia created a start-up visa, an initiative by the government of Latvia aimed at bringing in more talented individuals to come and develop their ideas in Latvia. Proposals for future reforms this coming year include a decrease in new company registration cost and additional e-services, among other important measures for making opening and running business in Latvia more entrepreneur-friendly.