34. Jānis Grundspeņķis, professor, Jānis Grabis, Professor. Information Technology and Telecommunications in Latvia.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) area along with biotechnology, material science, forestry and chemistry are among the most promising areas of development in Latvia. It is rooted in the deep engineering, industrial and intellectual tradition dating back to the late nineteenth century when Latvia was a hotspot of electro-technical research and manufacturing. The legendary VEF Minox miniature camera is the best known Latvian invention. Recent developments in ICT have been guided by the national ICT development program accepted in 1998 and renewed in 2006. The main goal of this program has been movement towards the information society and knowledge based economy including attaining high levels of computer literacy, ensuring a high level of accessibility to information resources, providing efficient electronic services and establishing ICT as a major enabler of both economic and social welfare of the Latvian society. The planned government investment in ICT for the period between 2007 and 2013 is 367 millions EUR. The program builds on previous achievements (e.g., high level of computer and Internet availability, computerization of schools) and aims catching-up in lagging areas, for instance, e-commerce still has enormous growth potential with expected two-fold increase of the number of companies involved in electronic transactions by 2013.


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