Latvia and the Baltic Sea region: market opportunities
Latvia is member of the EU and NATO since 2004, Eurozone since 2014, OECD since 2016 and is part of the Schengen area. The country has one of the best infrastructures for the digital economy in the world, it is globally well connected and it host an increasing numbers of start-ups and innovative ICT companies.
- One of the best infrastructures for the digital economy in the world;
- Globally well connected, increasing international start up scene, where services/products are developed for the global market;
- Growing ICT talent pool – Development of international IT University that will generate 2500 – 3000 graduates every year;
- Presence of international ICT development hubs, such as: the Innovation Centre of the University of Latvia and Microsoft; Accenture “liquid studio”, Wise Guys and Swedbank, Overkill Ventures partnership with Lattelecom and Accelerace.
- Major Northern Europe multimodal logistics and distribution hub with developed trade links in Russia & Central Asia and beyond – China (Container train from China, Latvia’s Pasts postal company co-operation with Alibaba logistics group), India (joint Latvian-Indian company project “Bhandar” in Kundziņsala, in Riga Freeport), which quickly expands its presence and co-operation with cargo owners (for example, Scottish Whisky) and logistics and distribution hubs in Europe (The Port of Duisburg for example);
- Gateway to Russian, Belarusian, Ukraine and Central Asia markets supported by regular ‘block train’ routes, knowledge of business culture and established business links;
- Perfectly located to provide a distribution services in the Baltics, Scandinavia (Stockholm area) and Russia (Moscow area);
- Rail Baltica project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the European Union, once finished (2025 – 2026) the Baltic railway infrastructure will be connected to the European railway corridor and the biggest economic, administrative and culture centre in the Western Europe.
- Easily accessible from UK: Air Baltic (Gatwick, Aberdeen), Wizz air (Luton, Liverpool, Sheffield/Doncaster), Ryanair (Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, East Midlands, Edinburgh); Riga airport is the leading airport in the Baltics (in winter 74 direct routes, in summer around 100);
- Large choice of international hotels: Kempinski, Radisson, Accor Group (Marriot and Hilton are going to open their first hotels in Riga in 2019) and growing number of local hotels: Grand Poet Hotel, Relais le Chevalier;
- Increasing number of cruise ships (91 in 2018) coming to Riga 4. One of the Northern Europe’s leading destination for MICE industry;
- Highly developed medical tourism sector;
- Foreign travel advice (Latvia): Around 142,000 British nationals visit Latvia each year.
- Latvia is member of the EU and NATO since 2004, Eurozone since 2014, OECD since 2016 and is part of the Schengen area;
- Riga, the capital of Latvia, and its surrounding is the largest urban centre in the Baltics with 1 million inhabitants;
- GDP per capita in 2016 was 25 590 USD, average salary in 2017 was 926 EUR a month;
- Bilateral trade with the UK has been growing also after Brexit vote reaching 1.5 billion EUR in 2017.