The Republic of Latvia

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia, to the south by Lithuania, to the east by Russia, and to the southeast by Belarus, and it also shares a maritime border to the west with Sweden. With aproximate 2 million inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. The capital of Latvia is Riga. The official language is Latvian and the currency is called Lats (LVL - Ls - Please note, from January 1st 2014 Latvia will begin to use the Euro). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.

Economy

Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization (1999) and the European Union (2004).

Since the year 2000 Latvia has had one of the highest (GDP) growth rates in Europe. However, the chiefly consumption-driven growth in Latvia resulted in the collapse of Latvian GDP in late 2008 and early 2009, exacerbated by the global economic crisis and shortage of credit. The Latvian economy fell 18% in the first three months of 2009, the biggest fall in the European Union. According to Eurostat data, Latvian PPS GDP per capita stood at 56 per cent of the EU average in 2008.

In June 2012 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde lauded Latvia's accomplishments in bringing order to the country's economy. Latvia has proven that it can be both powerful and disciplined.

Latvia has various advantages in the international business arena. Latvia is in a geographical hotspot located in the middle of several major European markets.

Geographical hotspot

  • Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland) in the northwest
  • Russia in the east
  • Poland in the south
  • Germany in the southwest

Infrastructure

The logistical infrastructure of Latvia includes sea ports, airports and an extensive railway network leaving it positioned to connect with most of Europe.

  • Largest trade harbour of the Baltics
  • Three international ice-free ports
  • Direct rail link from Latvia to Moscow (Russia)
  • Two hour flight from the Western European capitals (London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid)
  • Overall more than 65 direct flights from Riga International Airport
  • Strategic gateway between Europe and the CIS states.

Labor

High university enrollment rates, competitive labor force and multiple language proficiency.

  • One of highest university enrollment rates in the world
  • Most people Speak three languages (Latvian, Russian, English)
  • Most competitive labor force in the EU in various sectors

Many applications

But what about skills? -Latvia is a hub of innovation:

  • Latvia is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Baltics
  • Designed systems for Kenwood, Panasonic
  • Developed technologies for NASA
  • 4th fastest broadband connection in the world
  • Regional leader in R&D for biotech
  • Manufacturer of microphones for Lady gaga (humor)

Entrepreneurship

Corporate tax rate one of lowest in Europe and fast company formation.

  • Corporate tax rate 15%
  • One day to launch a company

The catch?

None.

  • One of greenest countries in the world
  • Possibilities of obtaining residence permit
  • Nation of music - the performers of the Opera house are phenomenal
  • Restaurants have everything from local organic cuisine to even a typical English pub
  • Riga (the capital of Latvia) - works of art

Population

Latvia, over the course of it history has been under various rulers. This alone has contributed to Latvia ethnic diversity.
Population of Latvia by ethnic group:

  • 62.1% Latvian
  • 26.9% Russian
  • 3.3% Belarusian
  • 2.2% Ukrainian
  • 2.2% Pole
  • 1.2% Lithuanian
  • 2.3% others / unspecified

Latvia is a perfect place if you don't like overcrowded surroundings. If you're thinking of moving to Latvia check out the residence permit options.

If you have more questions then either ask them in enquiry or turn to F.A.Q. section.