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Rethink Power & Energy Solutions – bright ideas to keep you warm

By Oleg K. Temple, November 2010. Published in PRIME Match Magazine #40.

The advent of the energy revolution in this new millennium is as unstoppable as sunrise on a new day, try as they might (by buying up and suppressing new energy patents, political lobbying etc.), the oil giants can do nothing to halt the inevitable. The technologies to heal the world and its people exist and once they become available at fair market prices (rather than at prices aimed at deterring the consumer), factories will begin mass production and the consumer will take to clean technologies like fish to water.

The Baltic Power Scene

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2010. Published in PRIME Match Magazine #40.

“NUCULAR” POWER

Nuclear power is generated through controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear fission reactions that vaporize water and the steam drives the turbines to generate clean electricity.

Overview of the ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY 2010

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2010. Published in PRIME Match Magazine #40.

The 6th international exhibition on energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure and environmental technologies, ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY 2010 took place at the International Exhibition Centre in Riga on Ķīpsala October 14-17.

Will the Eurozone umbrella hold or fold?

By Oleg K. Temple, June 2010.

To ensure that their markets remain upright and sprightly in the long-term, in the good old days, the EU countries came together and created sensible (albeit optimistic) fiscal rules that set the gyration boundaries for their rapidly unfurling economies. Government debt must always reside south of 60% of GDP at the end of the fiscal year and the annual government deficit must not eclipse 3% of total GDP. Shockingly, Finland and Luxembourg are the only two of the 16 Eurozone countries that have managed to rein in the rapacious crisis and adhere to both of these cardinal rules. Hence, the EU economy plummeted into disarray and the path to recovery is proving to be a slow and arduous one.

 

Hotel Conference Facilities in Antwerp, Belgium

Compiled by Oleg K. Temple, February 2010.

Hotel Conference Facilities in Malta

Compiled by Oleg K. Temple, January 2010.

Malta is an amazing nation with a vibrant history and culture that took root at the dawn of civilization. Despite ranking as the 7th most densely populated country (with 413,627 people living on an area of 316 km2), surpassed only by other tiny giants such as Macau (541,200 people on 29.2 km2), Malta is still, due to its secluded location, home to hundreds of rare and endemic species of flora and fauna.

In the last century, Malta was the anvil upon which the very fate of the World, wrought by titans of politics, was decided and forged. F.D. Roosevelt and W. Churchill formed an alliance that fuelled the Cold War at the Malta Conference in early 1945 and much later, in 1989, G. H. W. Bush met in Marsaxlokk with M. Gorbachev to pull the plug on the nuclear arms race and end the Cold War.

Inaugurated into the EU on May 1st 2004, along with Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and others, Malta exhibited remarkable economic growth and stability that allowed the government to enter ERM II already in 2005 and adopt the Euro from 2008. The Maltese Archipelago is renowned for its ideal climate, trade-friendly economy and gracious inhabitants. Malta offers a myriad of tourist attractions – from breathtaking architecture steeped in rich history, to natural wonders, putting the country on the map as a favourite “rest nest” for opulent holiday makers seeking a pure paradise of sea, sand and sun. As tourism poured into the soul of the Maltese economy, a multitude of elegant hotels offering state-of-the-art conference facilities blossomed around the islands of Malta and Gozo, making the country a magnet for business event organizers. Find out what’s ON in Malta in our Maltese Event Calendar 2010 or read on and sample the Editor’s picks, the exquisite cream-of-the-crop of Malta’s luxury hotels.

Hotel Conference Facilities in Riga, Latvia

Compiled by Anja Coppieters, November 2009.

Over the past decade, largely due to Latvia's favourable geographic location, modern facilities and multi-lingual, forward-thinking people, Riga has become a nexus of conferences bridging the business interests between East and West. Seasoned organizers acknowledge that creating a successful event is both an art and a science. Naturally, a creative vision is conducive to the conception of an inspired, memorable event, but without the solid foundations of sound organization and reliable partners to realize that vision, the most intricate aspirations are but castles in the sky - unattainable. Tangible actions and experienced partners are vital catalysts to spark the transcendence of a beautiful vision from the realm of dreams into reality. In this feature, we have compiled the most prestigious and capable hotel venues in Riga, most of which, have many years of experience in organizing impeccably professional conferences, workshops and banquets. Choosing these venues you will be in good hands.

Find out more about what's planned at these and other venues under the Event Calendar and visit our accommodation section of Latvia for contact details. Wishing you a sensational, profitable endeavour.

Are Baltic Banks Client-Friendly?

—a look at the "Baltic Banking 2009" report by EPSI Baltic

By Oleg K. Temple, November 2009.

Since 2004 EPSI Baltic has been monitoring the pulse of the consumer trends in the Baltic region, analysing numerous public polls and studies in the financial, telecommunication, general insurance and other fields. The latest EPSI study focuses on the banking sector of the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. No one is shocked that during this time of global economic downturn the satisfaction rating of clients takes a dive, on the contrary, what raises eyebrows is the reaction, or rather lack thereof of the Norwegian and Estonian consumer.

Editor’s Focus: Eye on Latvian Real Estate (part 2 of 2)

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

Unless you've read part one of this article (and perhaps even if you have), you may think I've gone soft in the head when you read the next phrase: it is a good time to be in Latvia! Sure, prices for real estate have crashed through the basement and (largely due to the 3% VAT increase in January this year with another +2% VAT hike looming in 2010) commodity prices have escaped up the chimney taking consumers' income with them in a puff of smoke.

Latvia: Milestones on the Road to Economic Recovery

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

So let's pick up where we left off, thus far we have examined the factors that significantly eroded the competitiveness of Latvia such as unwarranted wage increases and low productivity. We have established that Latvian policy makers under the firm hand and watchful eyes of the IMF, the European Commission and other powers have opted for the high road of domestic discipline and restrained spending while uprooting and eradicating problems that have disharmonized the economy. By choosing to crack down on the problems of the economy and reinforce the foundations for sustained competitiveness, the programme aims to avoid the ephemeral success of floating the Latvian lat, while sweeping the real problems under the rug. Experts agree that for the first time, the young country's government seems to be doing what is actually needed, but is it too little too late? Is there a chance that the crisis will continue to escalate until it boils over and the government buckles to the devaluation sermons of the Scandinavian press?

Baltic Tiger: In the Eye of the Storm

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

Unemployment, defaults, foreclosure and bankruptcy have become the bywords of our time. The domino effect that hit the rest of Europe in 2008 was but a glancing blow to some countries such as Norway. The country domestically contained the crisis largely, by virtue of being outside the EU and continued full sail in true Norse fashion. Currency Expert Chuck Butler* comments that the Norwegian krone is HSBC's preferred G10 currency where the bank expects a sustained appreciation over the next 18 months. Whereas the crisis wasn't as kind to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, countries that were much more vulnerable, colliding with the recession maelstrom head-on. Indeed, the Baltic countries were caught off-balance in their 3rd stage of transition to the Economic Monetary Union of Europe. After a decade of unprecedented growth without foundations and safety measures, the inexorable economic law kicked in and the Baltic house of cards built on the shifting marsh of inexperience imploded with a bang. Today, the dust is beginning to settle and it is time to look to the future.

Editor’s Focus: Eye on Latvian Real Estate (part 1 of 2)

By Oleg K. Temple, September 2009.

It's no secret that of late, Latvia has become singled out as the "sick man of Europe" — a country crippled, maimed and burned by an overheated economy gone berserk, which has now coughed its last and ground to a halt. Doomsayers foretell a long cold winter ahead, before a slight seasonal revival in 2010.

The Bane Of Riga’s Restaurants

By Oleg K. Temple, September 2009.

Blatant malpractices and gross breaches of ethics cast a dark, ugly shadow on Riga's restaurant and bar scene threatening the welfare of honest establishments and marring their hard-earned reputations. The government has, thus far, maintained an aloof, taciturn approach to the issue and restaurant owners, whose business interests are at stake, now take matters into their own hands, determined to procure the elixir that stems and eradicates the escalation of fraud and lawlessness in the business.

 

Doldrums at the Shodō 書道 Calligraphy “seminar” of Riga “Takai” 2009

By Oleg K. Temple, August 2009.

Truly, the organizers of this travesty need to procure an unabridged copy of "PR for Dummies" and try to grasp the basic idea at the very least.

Shoddily nailed together by a Latvian Kendo club this event was probably the sorriest display of incompetence I have had the misfortune to witness. The chaps should just stick to their fencing and leave organization of important events to the professionals.

Magical Sounds of Japan at an Amber Sunset

By Oleg K. Temple, August 2009.

On Monday, the 10th of August, 2009 the Latvian Spa Town of Jūrmala resonated to the deep, bold sounds of Joji Hirota (廣田丈自) and the Taiko Drummers. Joji Hirota is an internationally-renowned master of percussion who studied under the great Maestro ltto Ohba of Hokkaido. Since the 1970s Master Hirota has been forging his skill to perfection with fiery passion and dedication through countless concerts around the world. Over the years, Master Hirota has seeded numerous percussion ensembles and trained countless disciples in his unique understanding and style of drumming.

 

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