The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published an annual Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019, which analyses the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and business conditions in each of the OECD countries. It also provides information on the latest national policy initiatives implemented to promote business development.
According to the OECD Outlook, the legal framework for Latvian business environment is in many respects in line with OECD’s average indicators and the Latvian government has taken targeted measures to boost SME growth. The growth rates in the number of companies in 2007-2015 show stable dynamics. “The main conclusions of the OECD Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019 show that the performance of the Ministry of Economics in improving the business environment and supporting fast-growing technology companies or start-ups is the right way to boost Latvian economic growth. Our aim is to create an excellent business environment that would move towards an innovative economic model,” emphasises Raimonds Aleksejenko, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics.
At the same time, the outlook emphasises that increasing the productivity of the national economy remains Latvia’s biggest challenge. Promotion of productivity is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Economics, therefore, several activities are introduced and implemented in a targeted way, such as the technology transfer system is improved, cooperation between the research sector and business is strengthened, digitisation and deployment of modern technologies is fostered, operations of innovative and technologically-oriented companies are supported, a variety of financial support instruments are offered, in particular for the development of innovative start-ups.
Overall, the OECD has concluded that administrative barriers to business development in OECD Member States have decreased, but the complexity of administrative procedures remains a major obstacle to activities of SMEs in all OECD countries. OECD has emphasised that skills are the main resource in taking-up technology and innovation, but these are SMEs who face the obstacles in the implementation of new technologies the most. The survey makes the conclusion that the quality of infrastructure is particularly important for SMEs to expand, enter new foreign markets and engage in global value chains. At the same time, the outlook highlights that financial capital, human capital and knowledge-based capital are the key factors for competitiveness of any company.
A summary of the entrepreneurship outlook 2019 is published on the OECD website.