Invest in Latvia

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Doing Business in the Republic of Latvia

Latvia provides an ideal climate for international business.  In addition to minimal government interferance, foreign investors enjoy a favorable tax climate and possible government incentives including tax benefits.  Latvia has a highly developed, western-style economy and an extensive modern transport infrastructure.  The country has a well-educated, technologically sophisticated workforce among whom English is widely spoken and boasts one of the most stable currencies and one of the fastest growing international banking sectors in the world.  Latvia is a full member of the European Union and enjoys full access to EU markets.  Latvia is also a full member of NATO, has favorable attitudes toward the US and is one of the United States' closest allies in Europe.   

The strength of the Latvian economy, the character and industrious nature of it's people, and the stability of it's democratic society, make Latvia a logical choice for international business.  Latvia's geography is also an asset, as the nation is situated on the Baltic coast along major trade routes and in a position as a trade entrepot between Western Europe and the burgeoning markets of Russia and Eastern Europe.  Please explore the information and links contained on this site to learn how Latvia may be the ideal destination for the international expansion of your business.  

Coming September 12-15: U.S. Baltic Innovation and Technology Mission to Latvia! .  Start-up companies, tech transfer and business incubators, heads of universities and research institutes, venture capitalists, and others interested in growing their business internationally or forging international partnerships in the EU are invited to attend this conference which will address what Latvia has to offer and provide opportunities to network with key figures in business and national government. Conference Programs, Registration Forms and other matierials are available in PDF format via the link above.


Economic Profile of Latvia

After regaining independence in 1991, Latvia underwent a rapid transition from the command economy of the Soviet Union to a modern, open and liberalized market economy. Latvia became a member of the World Trade Organization in 1999. EU and NATO membership was obtained in 2004, granting Latvia full access to some of the largest economic markets in the world. The majority of Latvia’s companies, banks and other businesses have been privatized. The government still holds significant stake in some companies of strategic importance such as energy and communication enterprises. Latvia’s economic successes are largely reflective of the government’s budgetary efficiency and the re-orientation of international trade toward EU markets. The Latvian economy presently has one of the fastest growth rates in the EU, with GDP expansion of 11.9% in 2006.

GDP: $30.29 billion (2005 est.); Per Capita GDP: $13,200 (2005 est.)

GDP Composition by Sector: Services 70%, Industry 26%, Agriculture 4%

Export Commodities: wood and wood products, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs

Export Partners: Britain 12.8%, Germany 12%, Sweden 10%, Lithuania 9.1%, Estonia 8%, Russia 6.4%, Denmark 5.4% (2005 est.)

Latvian Agricultural Products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables, beef, pork, milk, eggs, fish

Latvian Industries: buses, vans, street/railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles, wood products and furniture

Import Commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, vehicles

Import Partners: Germany 13.9%, Lithuania 12.2%, Russia 8.7%, Estonia 7%, Finland 6.3%, Sweden 6.1%, Poland 5.4%, Belarus 4.8% (2005 est.)

Economic Growth/Stability Statistics

Since regaining independence in 1991, Latvia has enjoyed one of the highest economic growth rates in Europe:

  • Since 2000 Latvia's GDP has increased by an average 7.7% annually
  • Latvia's GDP grew by 10.2% in 2005, one of the highest rates in the world
  • Annual inflation over the past five years has averaged just 3.2%
  • Latvia's GDP increased 13.1% in the 1st quarter of 2006 due to strong growth in various sectors:
    • 17.7% increase in foreign trade
    • 17.5% increase in construction
    • 8.8% increase in manufacturing
    • 6% increase in transport and communications
  • Both Standard & Poors and Fitch  have given Latvia an Investment/Currency rating of A- (Stable Outlook)

Detailed Economic Reports Online

Latvian Resources (in English) - Trade & Commerce

Latvian Embassy: Economy & Business Page - www.latvia-usa.org/businessguide.html

Investment and Development Agency of Latvia - www.liaa.gov.lv/?object_id=2159

Ministry of Economics - www.em.gov/lv

Ministry of Finance - www.fm.gov.lv/index.php?id=1

Latvian Chamber of Commerce & Industry - www.latvijas-talrunis.lv/lcci-new/index.htm

Latvia Import/Export (Supplier) Directory - www.exim.lv/pls/eximmain/exim_home

Latvian Privatization Agency - www.lpa.bkc.lv/lpa/lpa.php?lng=EN

Latvian Central Statistical Bureau - www.csb.lv/avidua.cfm

Bank of Latvia - www.bank.lv

Database of All Companies Registered in Latvia - www.lursoft.lv/en/index.html

Riga Stock Exchange - www.rfb.lv/?lang=en

United States Resources - Trade & Commerce

US Embassy in Latvia: Commercial Section - www.buyusa.gov/baltics

American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia - www.amcham.lv

US Census Bureau: Foreign Trade Data - www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/

US Dept of Commerce: Intl Trade Administration - http://trade.gov/index.asp

US Export Bank - www.exim.gov/

US Small Business Administration: Export Assistance - www.sba.gov/