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Baltic states should first of all support education and health sectors - expert

RIGA - The Baltic states should first of all support their education and health sectors in order to ensure the sustainability of their labor market, Dainis Gaspuitis, a macroeconomics expert at SEB Banka, said during a SEB discussion about the Baltic states’ prospects for attaining Nordic countries’ prosperity level.

Gaspuitis argued that an educated and healthy population is indispensable for the Baltic states to maintain a sufficient share of employed people in the labor market.

Dealing with the ageing of society is currently one of the main challenges for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the macroeconomics expert said. He noted at the same time that emigration to other European countries had dropped in recent years and that people now preferred to stay and work in their native country. Gaspuitis attributed the trend to continuous wage growth.

Speaking of education quality in the Baltic states, SEB Pank economist Mihkel Nestor said that the Baltic states’ growth potential lies in the ICT sector but in order to ensure its meaningful development it is first necessary to invest in education, otherwise the Baltic states will lose its leading position in the area of digital solutions.

The Baltics need good and knowledgeable ICT professionals, so education must be a priority, the Estonian economist said, adding that it is also necessary to motivate the young ICT professionals with competitive pay.

Tadas Povilauskas, a senior analyst at SEB Bankas, stressed the necessity to develop vocational education. Higher education is necessary but we should not forget about professions requiring specific and practical skills and knowledge, the Lithuanian expert said.

SEB Banka is the third largest bank in Latvia by assets.

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