Published: 03.09.2019

One month later, on 2 October 2019, Latvijas Banka is organising its annual economic conference. Economists and entrepreneurs brought together by the international conference "Labour Markets in the Baltics: Challenges Ahead" will analyse and discuss the ongoing changes in the labour markets of the Baltic countries caused by the demographic and technological trends and will deliberate on the political steps to be taken.

The conference will be held in Ziedonis Hall of the National Library of Latvia on 2 October from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm (registration from 9.00 am). International and Baltic policy makers, experts and private sector representatives will take part in the event.

The keenote speech will be made by Andrea Bassanini, an expert of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Editor of the OECD Employment Outlook.

Two panel discussions will be held – "Perspectives and Policies to Raise Resilience of Labour Markets in the Baltic Countries" and "Artificial Intelligence, Automation and the Future of Work: a Challenge or an Opportunity for the Baltic States?".

The discussions will seek answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main labour market challenges in the Baltic States?
  • Why do labour shortages coexist with above-frictional (caused by labour turnover) unemployment rates?
  • How would demographic trends shape the future of labour market?
  • How to address labour shortages?
  • What are the best policy practices to improve matching in the labour market?
  • What role should be played by immigration policy versus policies to boost labour productivity and technological advance?
  • Artificial intelligence, automation and spread of digital technologies has a potential to raise productivity, but may also result in job displacements and social pressures. How and through which channels does automation affect real economy and labour markets?
  • What are the country experiences in the region with the adoption and use of the new digital technologies?
  • How can Baltic companies benefit from automation and a wider use of digital technologies?
  • How could policy makers support these endeavours and what should be done on an individual company level?

Participants of the expert discussions:  Mārtiņš Kazāks,  Member of the Council, Latvijas Banka; Uldis Rutkaste, Head of the Monetary Policy Department, Latvijas Banka; Ülo Kaasik, Deputy Governor, Eesti Pank; Borja Gracia, Senior Economist, Mission Chief for Lithuania, International Monetary Fund; Arvils Ašeradens, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Science Committee, Saeima of the Republic of Latvia; Andris Vanags, Chairman of the Board, AS SAKRET HOLDINGS; Andris Strazds, Adviser to the International Relations and Communication Department, Latvijas Banka; Anders Sørensen, Professor, Copenhagen Business School; Meri Obstbaum, Head of the Forecasting Division of the Monetary Policy and Research Department, Suomen Pankki – Finlands Bank; Maksims Jegorovs, Country Managing Director, Accenture; and Ignas Mačeika, Head of Treasury, SBA Group.

Attendance at the conference is by invitation only. Detailed information on the conference as well as its live coverage will be available on the website of Latvijas Banka at Media representatives are invited to attend the forum and make themselves known by contacting the Press Office of Latvijas Banka before the conference. The working language of the conference is English (simultaneous interpreting into Latvian will be provided).