19:17 4 May 2021
Post by: WBJ

Latvian ambassador about vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

Top diplomats in Warsaw told the WBJ about the vaccine race, economy, and women’s rights. One of them is Edgars Bondars, Latvian ambassador

Latvian ambassador about vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

How successful has the Covid-19 vaccine drive been in your country?

Latvia has reserved some 6.3 million doses from the common EU vaccine purchases. We plan to vaccinate 70 percent of our adults by the end of summer, in line with the common EU goals. Vaccination is a high priority for our government, therefore, mass vaccination is coordinated by the newly-established Vaccination Bureau under the health ministry. As priority groups, we have identified healthcare professionals, employees and clients of social care centers, and seniors. The vaccination pace will be accelerated in Q2 and Q3 2021.

What is the economic forecast for your country for the first half of 2021?

Like everywhere across the world economic development and the usual lifestyle in Latvia in 2021 will be significantly affected by the spread of the Covid-19 and the epidemiological safety measures adopted for its containment. In the second half of 2021, private consumption is expected to recover relatively rapidly fostered by wage increases and resumed employment in several service sectors that were affected by the Covid-19 restrictions the most. Private consumption could grow by 9.5 percent in 2021, making a significant contribution to economic growth. Overall, GDP growth is forecast to rebound in 2021, reaching 3.5 percent.

In light of the recent near-total abortion ban in Poland, how strong are women's rights in your country?

In 2016, we ranked 18th in the WEF report on gender equality in the world. The situation has continued to improve with Latvia ranking 11th in 2020. In the field of education, Latvia has the highest proportion (51 percent) of female researchers in Europe. Furthermore, 82 percent of judges in Latvia are women. Employment rates also show a high level of gender equality, with the proportion of women in management positions reaching 56 percent – the highest in Europe. World Bank in its 2019 research found that Latvia is one of the six economies worldwide that grants women and men equal legal rights.

edgars bondars

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