Invest in The Baltic States - Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania with NAI Baltics
LATVIA - Investment environment is:
- Business friendly
- Low bureaucratic obstacles
- Transparent legal and judicial system
- Business without boarders - EU
Being a small country in big world, Latvia is fully aware of the importance in attracting foreign investment to sustain its own economic development. As a result it has become the priority of the Latvian government and local authorities not only to streamline the procedures for doing business in Latvia but also to maintain active dialogue between the government and foreign investors. An example of this streamlining is that a company can be established in just two days, and issues of importance to investors are regularly raised with the government both through the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia and informally thanks to the easy access to officials and decision makers. As a member of the EU, Latvia shares the same rules and regulations, protecting companies from any unpleasant surprises.
In Latvia, your investment counts, consequently there is a great effort made to ensure that your business environment is as comfortable as it can be.
- Fastest GDP growth rates in Europe
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Fast decision making process
Latvia is ripe with potential business ventures as there is a great entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the country. With the fastest GDP growth rates in Europe, 11.9% in 2006, it’s clear to see that there is also an enthusiasm here that an investor would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. However it’s not just the potential of Latvia that makes investing here so inviting, Latvia is located in the most dynamic part of Europe, The Baltic Sea Region, offering seamless access to its 100 million affluent consumers.
- Stable government policies
- Lat pegged to the Euro
- Membership to EU and NATO
Opportunity must always be balanced against stability, but the situation in Latvia provides the chance to experience both, with ample business opportunities and the stability of being a part of Europe and NATO. In addition, the Latvian government, which has been consistently centre – right, has maintained its policies throughout the various terms of governments. Financially, in addition to the well-developed financial systems in place, the Latvian Lat is pegged to the Euro at 1 Lat = 1.42 Euro, and plans to adopt the Euro.
Gateway to EU and Russia/CIS
- First and last EU board with Russia
- Fastest growing airport in Europe
- 3 non-freezing ports
- Integrated and well developed transport infrastructure.
Latvia is probably the best location to establish a business in Northern Europe. Riga itself is the largest Baltic city and located in the middle of the region, but in addition, not only is it centrally located in Northern Europe - the basis of Latvia's economic success but also it is the first and last EU boarder with Russia (except for Estonia and Finland), making it ideal for East/West trade. The Trans-Baltic highway runs the length of the country, providing a transport corridor North-South while the highway to Moscow is a developed trucking route, connecting East-West. These routes also connect to Riga International Airport, which has over 44 direct destinations, and is the fastest growing capital city airport in Europe. The Trans Siberian railway connects Riga with Moscow by the shortest and most direct route and importantly, the two countries share common railway gauge standards, providing an infrastructure base to facilitate the growing trade flows between the EU and Russia / CIS. Undoubtedly, the main asset of Latvia is its maritime links, Latvia has a total of 3 NON-FREEZING international ports linked into the county’s infrastructure by rail, road and pipeline.
Access to Skills
- Highly educated and multi-lingual workforce
- Northern European culture and work ethic
- Business knowledge and experience with Russia/CIS
Overall, there are few countries with a better-trained or better-motivated work force than Latvia. The highly educated workforce is rated 1st in Europe and 2nd in the world for University students per capita, and it has a Northern European culture and work ethic. In addition, the history of Latvia equips it with unequalled experience and business knowledge when working with Russia and other CIS countries. Over 90% of Latvians speak fluent Russian and 70% of people under 40 speak English. German and Scandinavian languages are also widely spoken. Latvians are highly motivated and always ready to accept new challenges.
- Low taxes
- Competitive labour costs
- High productivity
Latvia’s Corporate Income Tax rate is among the lowest in Europe at a flat rate of 15%. Personal income tax is also at a low flat rate of 25%. Productivity growth rates are very high and increasing, this is based on companies using ground-breaking IT technology and reorganisation of human resource capabilities. Although Latvia may no longer be considered as a low cost country, its labour prices are still very competitive especially when compared to the ‘old’ EU, offering companies that ‘competitive edge’.
- State support programmes
- Special Economic Zones
- Services of LIAA
Since Latvia is a part of the European Union, companies that invest in Latvia have a high possibility of qualifying for the EU Structural Fund support scheme, which will run from 2007 to 2013. The EU Structural Fund is a support project that provides financial grants in various areas of the economy such as training programs, innovation, R&D, value added manufacturing and technology/knowledge transfer.
There are 4 SEZ (Special Economic Zones) in Latvia (3 ports and 1 inland), all well connected to all infrastructure. They offer great deals on CIT (80% discounts) and 0% VAT with no custom or exercise duties.
Source: Home page of Latvian Investment & Development Agency (LIAA)
ESTONIA - Investment environment is:
LITHUANIA - Investment environment is:
Invest in Lithuania
With one of the most educated people in Europe,
the largest, most diversified, and highly competitive industries in the Baltics,
low taxes and costs, and
half of the GDP of the Baltic States,
- rich Scandinavian,
- huge CIS,
- growing Eastern European,
- and fast developing Baltic States' markets.
10 Reasons to Do Business in Lithuania
1. Minimal Economic & Political Risks
British analysts of the “Economist Intelligence Unit” (the research subdivision of “The Economist” magazine) confirm Lithuania to be a country with very low economic and political risks. The country is a member of the EU and NATO and follows the Western model of internal and foreign politics.
2. Macro Stability & Flexibility
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has ranked Lithuania’s performance among the best within the European Union. Lithuania maintains an exceptional economic progress, based on macro stability and economic flexibility.
3. Well-balanced Economic Growth
Lithuania has been maintaining an average GDP growth of 7.8%. In 2005 Lithuania’s GDP increased by 7.5%, and, according to the Eurostat (the EU Statistics Agency), at 8.6% Lithuania had the biggest annual GDP increase in the EU in the 2nd quarter of 2006. In 2006 Lithuania’s GDP increased 7.5%, and it has been forecasted that it will grow by 7.4% in 2007.
Lithuania is expected to join the Eurozone in 2011. Among the Baltic States, Lithuania is the most successful in controlling inflation.
4. Easiest Place to Do Business
The World Bank in its report “Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs” announced Lithuania to be the easiest place to do business among the Baltic States and all new EU members.
5. Laws Best Harmonized with EU Legal Acts
In its internal market scoreboard, published in 2006, the European Commission acknowledged Lithuania as best implementing EU internal market laws among the Baltic States.
6. Advancing Innovation Policy
Lithuania’s economic policy is strongly innovation-oriented. The country belongs to the common EU technological market and holds position No.16 among the EU-25.
7. Part of the Competitive Baltic Sea Region
Lithuania is a part of the Baltic Sea Region, which has a population of close to 100 million people. Located in the Region, home of many world-leading companies, Lithuanian businesses enjoy active economic cooperation with Scandinavian countries and Germany, which are among the most important business partners of Lithuania as well as among the strongest economies of the world.
8. Attractive Location & Excellent Infrastructure
Lithuania is strategically located at the gateway between huge markets in the north, east and west. The country provides fast access to the dynamic regional and neighbouring markets - rich Scandinavian, fast-growing Baltic, huge CIS and West European - within a 500 km radius. The European Union has recognised Lithuania as the prime transport centre in the region linking the EU with the East.
9. Quality Human Resources
Lithuania has one of the best-educated workforces in Central and Eastern Europe. The percentage of the Lithuanian population with higher education is 2 times higher than the EU-15 average and is also the highest in the Baltic States. Lithuania is among the 5 EU members with the highest percentage of people speaking at least one foreign language. Even 90% of Lithuanians can speak at least one other language, mostly Russian, English and Polish, apart from their mother tongue.
10. Investment Incentives
Lithuania offers equal protection and guarantees for both local and foreign businesses. The country guarantees the unrestricted movement of capital and dividends and free access to all sectors of the economy. The support network and incentives for foreign investors in Lithuania include the following main elements: free economic zones with tax benefits and one-stop-shop services, industrial parks with developed infrastructure, EU Structural Funds support, science and technology parks etc.