Latvia and France: Entrepreneurs must work together to compete globally
A delegation of entrepreneurs from France MEDEF International visited the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) on September 16. During the meeting, business representatives of the two countries pointed out that European Union (EU) member states and enterprises must cooperate to expand into international markets together.
The meeting was organized in order to discuss further cooperation between LDDK and MEDEF International, as well as Latvian and French entrepreneurs’ cooperation perspectives and investment opportunities.
Dr. Juris Binde, LDDK Vice President and President of LLC Latvijas Mobilais Telefons noted the necessity to cooperate on matters affecting the business environment in the context of sustainable cities and infrastructure, the digital sector, defense and security, taking into consideration the impact of the pandemic, as well as macroeconomic targets and climate goals. Dr.Binde indicated that as a member of BUSINESSEUROPE, Business at the OECD (BIAC) and International Organisation of Employers (IOE), LDDK continues cooperation with French Business Confederation MEDEF and other representatives of intersectoral employers’ organizations of EU Member states to ensure support for open markets, the private sector, promotion of competition and balanced business, environmental and social goals. Entrepreneurs and employers’ organizations play a significant role in creating positive change as they promote a continuous provision of information about business environment-related topics, experience sharing and a coordinated collective action of entrepreneurs.
Līga Meņģelsone, LDDK Director General underscored the role of social partners in balancing business interests in dialogue with the government and trade unions.
The entrepreneurs also indicated that in the circumstances of fierce competition it is necessary to focus more on support to small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of all economies of the world, given that many of them operate globally.
Eric Sabatier, head of French business delegation and Senior Vice President of BUREAU VERITAS emphasized the role of corporate social responsibility in attaining sustainability and competitiveness goals, as well as noted that it is essential to take the business growth opportunities offered by development finance institutions.
Latvia and France have a good potential for business cooperation and French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Latvia last year gave it a strong impetus, said Bertrand Le Tallec, Economic Advisor at the French Embassy in Latvia. He also described Latvia as a competitive country, able to attract investment, defining sustainability, digitalization, development of trade with third countries and fair competition as its priorities.
H.E. Eduards Stiprais, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the French Republic, said at the meeting that the embassy is always ready to provide the necessary support to help strengthen business cooperation.
The representatives of Latvia and France were unanimous that currently it is especially important to ensure support for national and EU legislators in order to strengthen political coordination and maintain stable and predictable political and legal systems, promoting at the same time economic and social progress. In close cooperation the best solutions must be found for ensuring businesses’ sustainability and reputation, availability of qualified labor force, economic recovery, implementation of structural reforms and strengthening the bipartite and tripartite social dialogue.
The next meeting between LDDK and MEDEF is scheduled for November 2021 in France when the European Business confederation BUSINESSEUROPE Council of Presidents is due to hold its regular meeting. MEDEF has sent the LDDK leadership a personal invitation to arrange meetings as France is preparing for its upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting January 2022.
The Employers Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) is the largest and most influential organization representing employers in Latvia. LDDK was established in 1993 and its members are employing 44% of Latvia’s employees. LDDK is a social partner to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS). LDDK unites and represents employers whose aggregate annual turnover is ~40 billion euros. LDDK members represent sectors like industrial production, finance, education, transport and logistics, health, ICT, trade, construction, tourism and hospitality, chemical industry, pharmacy, energy, manufacturing, etc. LDDK is a member of BUSINESSEUROPE, representing interests of Latvian enterprises also in the framework of the EU social dialogue.
About Mouvement des Enterprises de France International (MEDEF):
MEDEF International is a non-profit private-funded organization, created in 1989 by MEDEF, the French Business Confederation. MEDEF International is the most representative organization of the French private sector at an international level. It is chaired by Mr Frederic SANCHEZ, CEO of FIVES GROUP. MEDEF International aims at promoting the French companies’ know-how abroad through collective actions. MEDEF International supports trade, technologic cooperation and investments, long-term partnerships, especially in emerging and developing markets as well as reconstruction markets. It gathers every year about 7100 French companies already operating in the world, in 85 Business Councils headed by 55 CEOs of major international French companies.