Exporting guide to Latvia
Consumer base familiar with the UK
Latvia has a population of approximately 1.9 million. It’s a sophisticated consumer market, and consumers are technologically proactive and internet literate. Domestic demand will play a major role in Latvia’s economic growth. Ties to the UK are strong, with a significant Latvian community residing in Britain.
Location and transport
Latvia occupies a strategic location at the crossroads of northern and eastern Europe. It’s at the centre of the developing Baltic states market. The country has strong transport links and is a key logistics base.
Latvia: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Doing business in Latvia is very similar to doing business in any other EU country. If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful in Latvia. There are opportunities for UK businesses in the infrastructure, energy, education and ICT sectors.
There are plans to improve Latvia’s railway infrastructure over the next few years. The ‘Rail Baltica’ project is a huge development linking Finland, the Baltic States and Poland with the rest of the EU using European standard gauge railway. The project, worth £5.8 billion, is in the development and design stage.
Several major construction projects are underway in Latvia. A new terminal for Riga International Airport will be built to meet increased demand. There are plans to build new highways, a new concert hall in Riga and military infrastructure projects. Many bridges are in critical condition and need reconstruction.
The Latvian energy sector is one of the greenest in Europe. The government has set a target for 40% of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. In particular, Latvia aims to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings and to replace fossil energy sources with renewable ones.
UK expertise in offshore wind
The UK is a leader in the development of offshore wind parks. This experience and knowledge has very good potential to be shared and applied in the projects in the Baltic sea, such as the planned offshore wind park in the Riga Gulf, a joint project with Estonia.
There’s significant potential for UK businesses in Latvia’s energy efficiency market, especially around offshore wind parks, energy efficiency measures and management systems, smart grids and meters, and the sustainable use of energy sources.
High regard for UK education
The UK’s education system is highly valued among the Latvian population. UK businesses providing educational services and products therefore have considerable advantages in the market and will be attractive to students.
Use of English
English is the main business language in Latvia. This means courses in English are in high demand compared to those in other languages.
Demand for UK expertise
There is demand for UK expertise in education about topical technology issues. In particular, UK businesses will find opportunities in supplying courses on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI).
Cybersecurity and AI solutions
The UK is considered to have considerable expertise to offer in the fields of cybersecurity and AI. There’s promise for UK businesses in providing innovative solutions in these areas.
In Latvia, UK businesses are considered to pay a lot of attention to the quality of their solutions and products, and so you’re likely to find a lot of demand in the market.
Appetite for latest technology
Latvian consumers are technologically proactive and internet literate and are always hungry for the latest available technologies.