On 7th June, EY launched the annual “EY Attractiveness Survey Europe”, which analyses investment data and gathers the opinions of investors. The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) was interviewed during the study about the investment results in Latvia. The study reveals that Latvia attracted 43 new investment projects – a 79% increase compared to the previous year.

The number of new foreign investment projects per one million inhabitants ranks Latvia fourth among the European countries, right behind Monaco, Ireland and Luxembourg, while Lithuania is in the sixth position, and Estonia – in the fifteenth. In terms of the number of newly created jobs per one million inhabitants, Latvia remains fifth – after Belgium, Lithuania, France and Ireland. These new projects have created 2,583 new jobs, 69% more than a year before.

"For Latvia, this is an excellent achievement because the number of new investment projects in Europe has decreased by 13%. Lithuania is also performing very well, with 53 new investment projects launched last year, which is only slightly less than a year before, when it had 60 projects. For Estonia, the previous year was not the best one in terms of investments, as the number of new investment projects experienced a 59% drop. When we compare the performance of the Baltic States, it is interesting to note that the specialization of the countries is emerging – Latvia has a lot of new investments in production, 20 altogether, while Lithuania has more investment projects in R&D – 19 altogether. Other investment sectors are quite similar in both countries,” says Guntars Krols, EY Partner, Head of Strategy and Business Consulting in the Baltics.

The EY study shows that 68% of investors who already have a presence in the Baltics plan to expand this year. In this respect, the differences between the Baltic States are minor - 69% of investors in Latvia, 71% in Lithuania and 64% in Estonia have such plans.

In the Baltics, 62% of investors believe that future growth in attracting investment will be driven by the digital economy, namely the IT, telecommunications and media, followed by the mobility sector, which 37% of investors consider to be significant. Another 28% believe that investment will be successful in consumer industries, including food production and agriculture.

"Our study confirms that most investors in the Baltics are already planning their digital transformation programs. 56% have indicated this, but another 17% are already implementing the programs or have recently Introduced  them. In Latvia, 68% of foreign investors plan the digital transformation, and the vast majority of foreign investors indicate that the digital skills available in the country are important or at least moderately important for the investment plans – nine out of ten investors in Latvia agree,” admits Guntars Krols.

"The EY Attractiveness Survey Europe" is conducted annually, gathering quantitative data on investment projects, monitoring more than 10,000 news sources, and surveying 550 international investment decision-makers and 150 investors with a presence in the Baltics.