Welcome to the Consulate General of The Republic of Latvia to Lebanon

The Consulate General of Latvia in Beirut represents the Republic of Latvia in Lebanon and covers the 5 Boroughs of Beirut, Zahle, North of Lebanon, the South of Lebanon, and the Mont Lebanon. Its broad mission is to promote Latvian interests in Lebanon and to provide assistance to Latvians visiting Lebanon and residents. The Consulate seeks to assist in fostering broader knowledge in Lebanon about Latvia and to facilitate increased business, educational, and cultural relations between Lebanon and Latvia - one of the European Union's fastest growing and historically and culturally interesting nations.

Things you should know about Riga

  • Riga is the largest city in the three Baltic States
  • There are three major ports in Latvia - Liepaja, Riga and Ventspils, as well as seven smaller ports - Skulte, Mersrags, Salacgriva, Pavilosta, Roja, Lielupe and Engure, which are situated along the entire coastline of Latvia.
  • Riga is Europe's capital of art nouveau architecture
  • Riga is one of the greenest city in the region
  • Historic center in Riga is included in the UNESCO world heritage list
  • Riga , ranked as the best large European city for cost effectiveness by FDI Magazine
 
Largest cities or towns of Latvia

Riga

Rank Name Pop.

Liepāja

1 Riga 705,703
2 Daugavpils 103,053
3 Liepāja 83,884
4 Jelgava 64,748
5 Jūrmala 56,147

Daugavpils

6 Ventspils 42,657

Jelgava

7 Rēzekne 34,912
8 Valmiera 27,217
9 Jēkabpils 26,378
10 Ogre 26,167

Latvian News 27-12-2016

  • Fourteen major legislative changes to come into force in Latvia next year Minimal wage increase, not labour pay system for workers of certain sectors and amendments to unemployment benefits ? these and other major legislative changes will come into force in Latvia next year and will affect all Latvian residents, as stated by SEB bank economist Dainis Gaspuitis. Minimal wages in 2017 will increase by EUR 10, from EUR 370 to EUR 380. Minimal wages are paid to 21.5% of all employed people in Latvia (171,300 people). Tax benefits for a single dependant will remain unchanged in 2017 ? EUR 175. Next year, there will also be a new pay system for police officers, court workers and prison administration officials. Funding will be increased for the continuation of the teachers? pay reform and pension indexation. Starting from 2017, PIT will no longer be applied to scholarships under EUR 280 a month. This applies to scholarships paid by businessmen or NGOs, as well as healthcare institutions paying students for practice. Additional funding to be allocated for benefits. State support for families for the fourth and every next child will grow from EUR 34.14 to EUR 50.07. Housing guarantee programme will continue in 2017. Its aim is helping families with children to receive state guaranteed loans to afford purchasing a home. From 2017 onward, unemployment benefits will be paid only if the unemployed person had worked 12 months in a 16 month period. Until now it was necessary to work 9 months in a 12 month period. It is also planned to introduce qualification period for sick leave benefit. The period will be three months instead of previous six month period. Excise tax to be increased for tobacco products. Natural resource tax rate to increase for single-use dishes and fresh water. Tax rate for tires to increase two times in comparison with the current rate. Driving a car registered abroad will cost money. Tax depends on car use length ? EUR 10 a day or EUR 1,000 a year. Starting from 2017, it will no longer be necessary to pay registration tax. However, operation tax rate for cars released in 2009 or earlier will depend on CO2 emissions. In addition, transport operation tax rate will be set at EUR 300 for light vehicles fitted with engines whose capacity is larger than 3,500 cm3. Monthly PIT rate will decline to EUR 60 in 2017. Maximum tax-free allowance in 2017 will be EUR 1,380. Annual taxable amount before which maximum annual non-taxable minimum is applied is EUR 4,800. The amount applied with minimal annual non-taxable minimum will be EUR 13,200 next year. In 2017, transactions between private persons will be limited. If the amount in the transaction exceeds EUR 7,200, it has to be performed through a bank. Micro-enterprise Tax rate will increase to 15% in 2017. Companies whose annual turnover does not exceed EUR 7,000, the tax rate will be 12%.
  • Legislative acts for violence prevention and other decisions viewed by Saeima this week On Thursday, 22 December, members of the Saeima will gather on the final autumn session of the year. There are 38 matters on the meeting?s agenda. In the final reading, the Saeima will view amendments to Insolvency Law to ensure stricter supervision of insolvency administrators and introduce a free market principle to the legal protection process. Deputies in the third reading will decide on amendments to the law intended to clarify legal relations in diplomatic and consular service. Amendments to the Tax and Duties Law will be viewed in the final reading. Those amendments are intended to ensure no payment is needed for the issue of a social service provider registration certificate, as reported by Saeima press-service. The Saeima will also view amendments to the State Audit Law in the second reading. Among other things, these amendments are meant to provide State Audit with the authority to commence enforcement of losses against guilty officials if audit process uncovers illegal activities and losses to the state. Deputies will also view a legal draft that is intended to provide special status to participants of the 1991 barricades. Deputies will also have to view multiple decision projects. Among them is the decision project to extend the participation of Latvian soldiers in NATO operation in Afghanistan. The parliament will also have to decide on the dismissal of Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube from his post of commander of National Armed Forces and the approval of Major General Leonids Kalnins as his replacement. Members of the parliament will also view decision projects in regards to expression of distrust to Welfare Minister Janis Reirs and Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola. The Saeima will also decide on the submission of multiple projects to committees for review. Among them are amendments to the Criminal Law intended to improve regulations for the prevention of violence. Committees will also view amendments to the Veterinary Law to further improve regulations and reduce administrative burden.
  • Saeima approves Kalnins as commander of Latvian National Armed Forces Thursday, 22 December, Latvia?s parliament approved Major General Leonids Kalnins as commander of the country?s National Armed Forces. The new commander will begin his duty on 27 January 2017, as decided by the parliament. Deputies also relieved Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube of his duties as NAF Commander, as confirmed by Saeima?s press-service. Since August 2016, Kalnins has been serving as acting chief of the National Armed Forces Joint Headquarters. He previously served as commander of the National Guard and chief of National Guard Headquarters. In accordance with National Armed Forces Law, the Saeima approves the commander of NAF for a four-year term. NAF commander is relieved of his duties following a request from the president.
  • Saeima to discuss proposal to not apply PIT on pensions On Thursday, 22 December, Saeima asked the parliamentary Social and Employment Matters Committee and Budget Finance Committee to review the proposal to lift the application of PIT on pensions. The parliament asked both committees to assess and develop amendments to relevant laws to realize the principle of not applying PIT on 1st level state funded pensions. Members of the parliament made such a decision based on the collective application ?Pension without tax?. Authors of this initiative ask the government to change laws and make it so 1st level pension recipients are not applied with PIT. Authors of this application ask the government to implement this measure somewhere between 2020 and 2045. This collective application was submitted to the parliament in October. It was signed by 10,748 citizens.