Business obstacles

Lack of large companies hampers innovations in Latvia

‘One of the biggest obstacles to innovations is the fact that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises dominate in Latvia. They lack resources and capacity to invest in research and development. Neither do they have qualified professionals capable of implementing innovative projects and developing new technologies’, says Economy Ministry’s representative Evita Urpena.

She stresses that the proportion of low and medium low-tech sectors is quite big in Latvia. It does not encourage innovations, which mostly appear in high-tech industries. Similarly, businesses often lack the understanding of the role of innovations in promoting competitiveness. The Ministry is now focusing on promoting innovation via collaboration between private and science sectors, namely, creation of a long-term business and scientific co-operation. BNN already reported, almost all European Union member states have improved their innovation results, however, development is slowing down. The EU is still unable to overtake global innovation leaders – the United States of America, Japan and South Korea. Sweden tops the list, closely followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland. Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Greece, Malta, Slovakia and Poland are moderate innovators. Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Latvia are said to be modest innovators.