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This note presents selected country highlights from the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017 with a specific focus on digital trends among all themes covered.
Unemployment is still above 8% in Latvia and contributes to poverty, in part because many unemployed have been without a job for an extended period of time.
Government at a Glance provides a dashboard of key indicators to help you analyse international comparisons of public sector performance.
Latvia’s economy is growing strongly. Driven by the recovery of exports and investment as well as strong private consumption, real GDP growth is expected to strengthen from 2% in 2016 to around 4% this year and next.
The Latvian Economy has grown robustly but not enough for strong convergence in living standards.
Latvia’s economy has grown robustly in recent years on the back of a strong track record in implementing structural reforms, despite a challenging international environment. Rising wages have supported household consumption. After a severe setback in 2008-09, catch-up with higher income OECD countries may have resumed. Government finances are solid and financial market confidence in Latvia is strong. Private sector indebtedness is now lower than in many OECD economies. Export performance, including diversification of products and destinations, is improving, but Latvia’s participation in global value chains is modest. Latvia’s exports still rely heavily on low value-added, natural resource intensive products, reflecting in part skills shortages and weak innovation. Unemployment remains high, although it has fallen. Many young Latvians emigrate. Informal economic activity is still widespread.
High long-term unemployment, weak social safety nets and high labour taxes for workers on low pay contribute to widespread poverty. Many low-income households are inadequately housed. High out-of-pocket payments limit access of low-income households to health services. Improving access to housing, health care, education and training would improve economic opportunities for low-income households and requires additional government spending.
SPECIAL FEATURES : MOVING UP THE GLOBAL VALUE CHAIN; ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
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Unemployment in Latvia has been on a downward trajectory since it reached a record high of 20.4% at the height of the global financial crisis (Q1 2010). It is now 9.7%, but it remains above the OECD average of 6.2%.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
The Review of Corporate Governance in Latvia was prepared as part of the process of Latvia’s accession to OECD Membership. The report describes the corporate governance setting for both listed companies and the state-owned sector (SOEs). The Review then examines the legal and regulatory framework and company practices to assess the degree to which the recommendations of the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises have been implemented. The report finds that Latvia's framework for the corporate governance of listed companies is largely consistent with the Principles. However, the report recommends a series of measures to further strengthen the corporate governance framework, which could help to deepen its currently small capital market and attract investment. For SOEs, the report recognises considerable reforms undertaken during the accession review process to establish an ownership co-ordination unit and to begin re-establishing boards of directors (which had been abolished in 2009). The report calls for consolidation of these reforms and also stresses the importance of clarifying SOE objectives and strategies, and enhancing disclosure.
As part of the STI Outlook 2016, the OECD has released policy profiles by country. These include cross-country analyses that draw on the first joint EC-OECD survey on STI policies. They focus on major STI policy areas, instruments and trends.