The information and telecommunications technology (ICT) sector in Latvia began in the 1960s, when the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science were founded. The latter institute developed expert technology for Soviet moon programs, and had 800 employees working on R&D projects. In 1992, with UNESCO support, Latvia established its first internet connection, after which internet and computer use expanded rapidly. These well-established institutes and stellar achievements prove the solid legacy and tradition of education, technology, and R&D in Latvia.
Although the ICT sector itself comprises only 3.8 % of the GDP of Latvia, their importance goes well beyond that. ICTs are vital to:
In 2014, there were approx. 5,000 companies active in the ICT sector. Only 107 of them were producing ICT equipment, 551 were operating in the telecommunications industry, while more than 4,000 companies specialized in other ICT services and 584 in ICT equipment sales. In 2014, the number of employees in the ICT sector was more than 26,500.
Turnover of ICT Sector
* Provisional data
Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia
ICT manufacturing companies export their products mostly to the Baltic market, around 40 %. Mainly communication equipment (62 %), consumer electronic equipment (22 %), computers and peripheral equipment (13 %) are exported.
In 2014, the foreign trade surplus of ICT services reached EUR 126 million. The main trade partners of ICT services were Sweden, the USA, Cyprus and Finland.
Additional information at:
Full company profile: Information and Communications Technology Industry in Latvia
Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia: www.csb.gov.lv
Latvian Information Technology and Telecommunications Association: www.likta.lv
Latvian Internet Association: www.lia.lv
Association of Computer Technologies of Latvia: www.itnet.lv
Business Software Alliance: www.bsa.org
Latvian IT Cluster: www.itbaltic.com