The open press conference-like event was held, during which the signing was done. Minister for Economics, Deputy Prime Minister Arvils Ašeradens was representing the authorities, whereas General manager for Baltics at Uber Enn Metsar and Latvian Regional manager at Taxify Juris Krūmiņš inked the document for the ridesharing industry.
Both sides agree that the Memorandum of Understanding brings a new level to the conversation about the increase in global demand for ridesharing service providers and their place in Latvian economy.
The signed Memorandum will serve as a solid base for constructive discussion about the inclusion of ridesharing providers in Latvian transportation industry and their legal framework.
From the Ministry side, the message was clear: it must be understood that the sharing economy is the growing economic activity trend all over the world and Latvia is no exception.
Arvils Ašeradens stressed out that global demand for ridesharing services is forming, and Latvia currently is in a time, when new – ridesharing industry is forming, which is a unique type of business. For it to effectively and legally fit into Latvian economy, a dialogue on its consistent integration into existing economic model must be activated, he outlined.
Ridesharing is a way how every member of the society can become a part of the state economy and get involved in entrepreneurship.
Enn Metsar of Uber said that across Europe, the service is always looking to enter into new partnerships with policymakers. Thus, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Economy is an important step towards supporting the growing demand for digital economy in Latvia, he added.
Uber is obviously thrilled to receive a green light at this point, as the service faces various legal issues throughout Europe: “Collaborative platforms such as Uber have the potential to provide great new economic opportunities and positively impact the way people get around their city. We are excited to be partnering with another forward-thinking public authority in the Baltics.”
Meanwhile, the Country Manager for Latvia at Taxify, Juris Krūmiņš stated that modern technology provides many opportunities to the passenger transportation industry, which were not possible until now. It allows to significantly improve service quality, reduces the potential for fraud to minimum, and allows to keep up with the payments, as described by Mr. Krūmiņš.
Taxify appreciates that the Ministry of Economics shows understanding about the benefits that the sharing economy and ridesharing can bring to the state economy. “We believe that for small countries as Latvia and Estonia it is especially important to support innovations by working together and learning from each other, because that allows us to be much more competitive alongside the world. We will do everything that is possible to share our experience and facilitate the development process of the legislation, which would be beneficial to all.” – Juris Krūmiņš added.