The European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are providing technical expertise to Latvia via the Structural Reform Support Programme to develop regional capital markets between the Baltic States.

A report presented today recommends developing a single index classification for the Baltic States as a way to raise further the profile of the region as an investment destination.

“Today’s report shows that by connectingtheir capital markets and developing them together, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will unleash their full potential for more investment and economic growth. This cooperation sends a clear message to global investors that the Baltics are open for investment. Local and regional capital markets are the foundation of the EU Capital Markets Union. The Commission will continue to strongly support cross-border initiatives such as these in the Baltic region,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said.

“All Baltic governments, together with the European Commission, EBRD and Nasdaq, have expressed their interest in arriving at a single pan-Baltic classification by leading index providers,” noted Pierre Heilbronn, EBRD Vice President, Policy & Partnerships.

“Functioning capital markets are crucial for the economy as they diversify the enterprises’ financing sources, enable us to grow, fund expansion and create new jobs. The ongoing cooperation among the Baltic states proves that with joint efforts it is possible to continue successfully the development of capital markets in the region, attracting more attention of foreign investors,” added Jānis Reirs, the Minister of Finance for Latvia.

The report also outlines key actions to further promote the development of capital markets in the region: further integrating the Baltic capital market across political, regulatory, institutional as well as professional dimensions, encouraging Latvian state owned enterprises and private entities to tap the capital market for funding and establishing a pan-Baltic fund to enhance access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).