| Share
 

Latvia

Economy

Latvia has transformed its formerly state-run economy, inherited from its years as a Soviet republic, into a market economy. Most government-owned businesses and financial institutions have been privatized, and the country has encouraged foreign investment. Rapid economic growth, however, contributed to an especially sharp contraction during the global recession that began in 2008, resulting by 2010 in the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. The economy has improved since then, but economic inequality remains among the highest in the EU. Dairying and stock raising remain integral to the agricultural sector, which employs almost 15% of the labor force. Grain, sugar beets, potatoes, and vegetables are also important. The nation has valuable timber resources.

Latvia is an important industrial center; industry employs about 20% of the workforce. The nation's industries are extremely diversified and include food processing and the manufacture of buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, electrical appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. Distilling and shipbuilding are also significant, and tourism has developed as a source of foreign income. Exports include wood and wood products, machinery, metals, textiles, and foodstuffs. Raw materials, equipment, chemicals, fuels, and vehicles are imported. Trade is primarily with Lithuania, Germany, Estonia, and Russia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Latvia Economy from Infoplease:

  • Latvia: Economy - Economy Latvia has been engaged in transforming the state-run economy, inherited from its years as ...
  • Latvia - Latvia Profile: People, History, Government and Political Conditions, Economy, Defense, Foreign Relations, U.S.-Latvian Relations

See more Encyclopedia articles on: CIS and Baltic Political Geography


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring