Trade and Economic cooperation
Latvia is an important trading partner and investor of the Republic of Belarus, as well as a major transit corridor for Belarusian exports to third countries.
Following the 2020 year Latvia ranked 16 place in turnover and 13 place in export among countries with which Belarus carries foreign trade.
Trade turnover between Belarus and Latvia in 2015 — 2020 years
million US dollars
In 2020 year bilateral trade amounted to 393.6 million dollars, Belarusian export reached 309.9 million (decreased by 22 percent to 2019 year), import — 83.7 million dollars (decreased by 7.1 percent). Balance has developed positively for Belarus in the amount of 226.2 million dollars.
The main export items to Latvia are products of the forestry and woodworking industries, petroleum products, petrochemicals, metal products, fertilizers, insulated wires and cables, building materials, alcohol products.
From Latvia Belarus imports medicines, equipment, food products, textile and plastic products.
In 2020 year export of services to Latvia amounted to 130.9 million dollars (decreased by 20.2 percent to 2019 year), imports — 67.5 million dollars (14 percent) and the balance is positive — plus 67.5 million dollars. The total export volume is dominated by transport, business, computer, telecommunications and tourism services.
In the 2020 year from Latvia to the Belarusian economy were attracted investments in the amount of 70.4 million (77.4 percent compared to 2019 year) including direct investments 61.6 million dollars (80.6 percent).
Dynamics of investments from Latvia to Belarus in 2015 — 2020 years
million US dollars
There are 322 enterprises with Latvian capital in Belarus. Latvian investors are interested in implementing projects in the fields of trade, services, woodworking, pharmaceuticals, food production.
The main projects with Latvian capital in Belarus are: the creation of restaurant network (the Latvian company «Ankols & Partners»), a network of movie theaters (New Europe Cinema) and the modernization of cable television and internet (company «Rem Pro»). In 2015 year the milk processing group «Food Union» acquired the assets of «Ingman IceCream» JLLC (Gomel). In 2016 year the pharmaceutical company «Olainfarm» purchased 100 percent of the shares of the manufacturer of herbal preparations and food supplements «NPK Biotest» (Grodno). The Baltic group of companies «Jysk» (headquartered in Riga) created a retail network of household goods in Belarus.
The strategic direction of the Belarusian-Latvian cooperation remains the transport and transit sector. Perspective areas for cooperation are woodworking, pharmaceuticals, food production, tourism.
Latvian companies are actively using the electronic platform of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange for the purchase of Belarusian products. The client base of the Latvian representative office of the Exchange includes more than about 400 companies with capital from the Baltic countries and their number is constantly growing.
Belarusian companies are interested in participating in the supply of electric buses, agricultural machinery, elevator equipment, building materials, cable and other products to meet the needs of Latvia.
Significant potential for the development of bilateral cooperation exists in the service sector, especially in the information and communication technology industry which has demonstrated steady growth and positive dynamics of mutual trade over the past years.
Work is underway to improve automotive infrastructure and roadside services, create joint tourism products in order to maximize the use of tourism potentials of the two countries.
A number of institutional mechanisms have been established to support bilateral economic cooperation.
On a regular basis are held the meetings of:
- the Belarusian-Latvian Intergovernmental Commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation under the chairmanship of the Ministers of Transport of Belarus and Latvia;
- the Council for Business Cooperation chaired by the heads of Railways;
- the mixed commission for international road traffic and the working group on transport.
The 13th meeting of the Belarusian-Latvian Intergovernmental Commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation as well as a Business Council held in September 2018 year in Riga. The 14th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission held in October 2019 in Minsk.
On February 2018 in Minsk the prime ministers of the two countries signed an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding on the main areas of economic cooperation for the medium term. In July 2018 was approved a Plan of activities of the Government of Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on the main directions of cooperation in the medium term.
On January 2020 delegation of the Republic of Latvia headed by the Prime Minister of Latvia visited the «Great Stone» Industrial Park.