Which Baltic country has the best investment climate in the region?

Baltic states' flags
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The event will focus on a comparison of the three Baltic states in aspects which influence foreign direct investment flows and general business climate. An overview of the economic perspectives and challenges of the region will be provided, followed by a comparative analysis of tax systems and legal environment of each country.

“Lithuania is continuing to be at the forefront in terms of very favourable investment, infrastructure and tax conditions in its 7 free economic zones, by offering 0% corporate profit tax during their initial 6 years of operation and only 7,5% tax over the next 10 years, also no tax on dividends and real estate tax. Moreover, Lithuania is continuing the process of liberalization of its labour law and will join the Eurozone from 1st January 2015, which is a recognition of stability, certainty and legal order of the country.” – says Robert Juodka, Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and managing partner of law firm VARUL in Lithuania.

“In 2014 as a holding jurisdiction Latvia introduced a concept of interim dividends, thus, becoming more attractive for investors. Moreover, as a holding jurisdiction Latvia has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates within the European Union.” – says Janis Zelmenis, attorney at law and managing partner of law firm VARUL in Latvia.

A comparison between three Baltic countries can be drawn straight out of statistics and figures, e.g. direct investments in particular country. However, according to Janis Zelmenis, it is worth to evaluate recent changes in tax and legal aspects where, among other things, Latvia has become a very attractive state for establishing a holding company. Latvia as a holding jurisdiction can be used as a gateway for business activities performed in various jurisdictions, including opportunities represented by combining the privileges offered by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia all together.

Meanwhile, Estonia puts a lot of efforts trying to facilitate conditions for doing business in the country. By introducing e-residency from 1st December 2014, Estonia took a huge step in developing its economy, science, education and culture by making its public and private e-services available to all people around the world. Martin Tamme, attorney at law and managing partner of law firm VARUL in Estonia says that this is an important development to those Baltic and international companies who are doing business in Estonia by making day-to-day business activities such as signing documents and doing bank transactions much easier and faster.

Continue mentioning advantages in Estonian business environment, Martin Tamme marks out new regulation on economic activity, more flexible regulation of options, granting of special rights to different shareholders and the encouragement of the involvement of additional capital. He will talk about these aspects in more details during the seminar.

Speakers of the seminar will also include Indrė Genytė-Pikčienė, chief analyst of DNB Bank, who will talk about Baltic economies perspectives and challenges. Vykintas Valiulis, head of Tax department in UAB Grant Thornton Rimess will give a comparative analysis of tax systems in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Seminar on tax and legal aspects of doing business in the Baltics “The best investment climate is in …?” will be held on 26 November, at 2 pm. at the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Vilnius (A. Mickevičiaus str. 4). For registration to the seminar, please contact Estonian Chamber of Commerce by email to chamber@estcham.lt, tel. (+370 5) 2780 205 or on http://www.estcham.lt.

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