A Retiring Glance At Trade – Past, Present And Future
As my tenure at UK Trade & Investment draws to a close, it’s time for a little reflection…
15 May 2009
Baltics - Your next Export Market?
EUR 10.6 billion will be channelled from the EU to the businesses in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by 2013.
The three Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are located on the Eastern border of European Union, surrounded by Scandinavia, huge CIS market and Western Europe. For the past few years all three countries were among the fastest developing countries in Europe. Economic growth was approximately three times higher than the EU average – the three Baltic Tigers roared. Naturally, current economic slowdown had an impact on all three countries in the region. However, open and flexible economies, membership in the EU, WTO and NATO as well as substantial EU funding still makes the Baltics an attractive destination for business.
There is a number of opportunities offered by various sectors and industries in the Baltics. Some of them – such as ICT – are fast growing. Others, like public-private partnerships, need further exploration, but offer attractive opportunities for the future. Major stimulus to the Baltic economies has been EU structural funds, which will reach EUR 10.6 billion by 2013.
Implementation of infrastructure development and environmental projects:
· Reconstruction and expansion of the Riga Airport in Latvia (projected investments of EUR 270 m);
· Closure of the Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania and planned construction of a new one in Lithuania (projected investments of EUR 58 bn) as well as other in countries of the region.
· Funding priorities for waste management, energy from waste, and energy efficiency projects.
· Project to cover Estonia with Broadband Network by the year 2015 (projected investments of EUR 400 m).
Human Resources projects:
· Strong emphasis on life-long learning – EU financial support for Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian companies to train their employees will amount to EUR 212 m by 2013;
· UK universities, colleges and other higher education institutions are desired partners in joint projects due to their excellent reputation and quality.
Programmes to increase competitiveness of the economies in the Baltics:
· Support for innovative and R&D companies (EUR 233 m will be allocated for businesses directly related to R&D in all three Baltic states by 2013);
· Regeneration of industrial zones;
· Development of ICT infrastructure.
The Baltic market is relatively small and therefore manageable for smaller companies, which are not yet ready to pursue larger markets such as Russia, USA or China, thus Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are attractive markets for SMEs and new-to-export companies.
UK Trade & Investment helps UK companies to enter the Baltic market and increase their export revenue. Take the opportunity to learn about the Baltics firsthand from UK Trade & Investment Baltics team - visit The Power of Exporting event at Holywell Park in Loughborough on June 10, 2009; or contact us to find out if Baltics will be your company’s next export market:
Gintare Verbickaite, Senior Market Adviser at UK Trade & Investment in Vilnius, Lithuania - firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Plivca, Senior Market Adviser at UK Trade & Investment in Riga, Latvia – email@example.com
Lynn Sutt, Trade Adviser at UK Trade & Investment in Tallinn, Estonia – firstname.lastname@example.org