Latvia has a unique geographical and cultural position, providing a strategic location for business operations targeting developed economies of the EU and emerging markets of eastern neighbours. Latvia is a natural gateway between the US, EU and Asia (especially Russia/CIS). Advantages enabling successful trade include:
Advanced transport infrastructure: Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia has three major, ice-free international ports—Riga, Liepaja and Ventspils—that are closely linked into the country’s land-based infrastructure, including an extensive rail, road and pipeline system. The largest airport in the Baltics is Riga International Airport—with over 70 international direct destinations, it serves almost two-thirds of all flights in the region.
Free trade: Latvia’s external trade and customs policy is based on free trade principles. Latvia is an EU country, a member of Schengen and an active participant of the World Trade Organisation, enjoying all the benefits of free and open trade in the world’s markets. Customs and border procedures have been standardised for effective planning and coordination with trade partners around the world.
Export experience and support: Domestic companies continue to develop their exports, creating an environment of knowledge and ability that enable firms to grow their businesses in Latvia and abroad. Latvia’s history has prepared its workforce with knowledge of business and cultural norms that enable partnership with Western European countries, and particularly with Russia and other CIS countries. LIAA provides a host of services for assisting locally-registered companies to find and cultivate new markets.
Latvia: fastest growing economy in Europe” Latvia has one of the most dynamic and fastest growing economies in all of Europe. Over the period 1995-2007 Latvia’s economy has grown by an average of 7.6%. This phenomenal success is due to effective price and trade liberalisation, small and large-scale privatisation and financial sector reform since the early 1990’s. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Latvia was the fastest growing economy in Europe. In 2008, the IMF is forecasting some consolidation in the pace of growth, to around 3.6%.
Latvia: a business hub in the ‘New Europe’
With its prime location as a transit hub for east-west trade, Latvia has become one of the most favourable destinations for foreign investment in the ‘New Europe’. Sectors attracting investors include manufacturing, forestry and woodworking, metal processing and engineering, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, logistics and transit, construction and real estate, and information technology.
Latvia and Europe: key trading partners
The European Union accounts for 80% of Latvia’s total trade. Latvia’s major trading partners include Germany, Sweden, the UK, Russia and neighbouring Baltic countries such as Estonia and Lithuania.
Latvia’s currency: the lat
From its inception, the Latvian currency, the lat, has been one of the most stable currencies in Europe. In 2005, after joining the EU and developing a strategy to join the European Monetary Union, the lat was changed to the Euro.
Latvia: investment grade status
Latvia has an investment grade credit rating in international markets
Latvia: one of the greenest countries in Europe
Latvia’s landscape is marked by lowland plains, rolling hills, thousands of rivers and lakes. Forests cover 44 percent of the territory, and most of the countryside is less than 100 meters above sea level.
Latvia: ‘The eurozone’s new tax haven’?
Latvia have entered the eurozone in 2014. It’s already blasting its economy forward with new tax laws and encouraging investment.
Latvia is actively gearing up for the introduction of the euro after EU finance ministers recently announced the country’s entry into the eurozone for January 1, 2014.
The competition has become an informal meeting place for the wealthy and the powerful of Russia. Russian Oligarchs like Mikhail Fridman and Roman Abramovich have been known to attend.
“The New Wave boosts Latvia, and Jurmala’s popularity. Of course, [such events] help us to sell real estate,” said Andrey Shcherbakov, head of the real estate department at “Rietumu Banka,” a private Latvian bank for affluent individuals mainly from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet countries.
The parliament passed a bill in 2010 which made it possible for non-residents who bought properties in Latvia worth more than 140,000 euros ($183,000) to receive five-year residency permits for Latvia and the EU. Since that law was passed, non-residents have already invested more than 377 million euros ($494 million)in Latvian real estate.
“We have noticed an increase in bank clients and we are opening many new bank accounts,” Shcherbakov told DW. He added that the biggest influx of new buyers in Latvia has taken place after the recent crisis in Cyprus – which suggests that the money that was in Cyprus is flowing northwards to the Baltic region.
“These are clients who use Latvian banks as a financial centre, and we can see a diversification of assets,” Shcherbakov said. “People don’t simply put their resources into one new bank, they also buy properties and invest in Latvia.”
Bridge between east and west
The Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis said to DW that the new tax laws were long debated by politicians, officials and business people over a long period of time in Latvia, with a lot of consultancy taking place. According to Dombrovskis, the Latvian Finance Ministry doesn’t predict any negative fiscal effects from its tax policy.
“Speaking of these taxes in general, at the time when we implemented the fiscal consolidation laws, our taxes were also significantly increased,” said Dombrovskis. Value added tax was 18 percent before the crisis and is now 21 percent; the rate for state mandatory social insurance payments was 33 percent before, and now is 35 percent. “Excise duty, as well as real estate tax, has been raised. Also, there are now taxes on income from capital and on capital growth,” he said.
Natalya Tkachenko, deputy board chair at the Baltic International Bank in Riga – which specialises in serving non-residents in Russia, Ukraine and England – appears to bear Dombrokskis’ calm out. Her figures suggest that there has been no a sudden rush on Latvian banks or significant increases in foreign resident’s deposits. She told DW that there were around 313 million euros ($410 million) deposited in the bank at the end of February, and that now there are 322 million euros ($421 million). “That is an increase of 3 percent and that’s completely normal,” she said.
Though Tkachenko explained that there hasn’t been any significant influx of investment in the bank since the crisis in Cyprus, she added that she has noted an increasing interest in the possibility of setting up holding companies in Latvia – particularly from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
People from the Commonwealth of Independent States “really want to move their business to Latvia,” said Tkachenko. “Keep in mind that we have a very attractive geographical location between east and west and our transit business is very developed too.”
Mirror, mirror on the wall …
Though the European Central Bank and the European Commission have raised concerns in their convergence reports over the significant amount of non-resident deposits, Prime Minister Dombrovskis stressed that Latvia has a relatively small banking sector compared to the whole of the EU. “For instance, if banking sector assets were hovering between 700 and 800 percent of GDP in Cyprus; and in the EU, you’ll find levels of between 360 and 370 percent; in Latvia, the kinds of assets to GDP ratio is less than 130 percent of our GDP.”
There is a lot of potential for non-resident deposits to flood the country under the new rules – but according to data published by the market commission, the proportion of non-resident deposits in Latvia was at 49 percent in 2012. That might sound high, but for the sake of comparison, in 2002 it was at more than 54 percent, and had dropped to 38 percent in 2009 when Latvia suffered the deepest recession in the EU.
“We primarily watch whether all the requirements are taken into account when every dollar, euro or any other currency is invested,” said Kristaps Zakulis, head of the Commission. “We examine every investment, where did it come from and whether it has a legal origin. The banks have to fulfil a set of requirements regarding the prevention of money laundering.”
Zakulis said that 13 out of 29 banks work mainly with non-resident clients, and they have to follow stricter requirements like insuring higher capital adequacy and liquidity than banks who work with resident deposits.
Latvia Immigration – Get Permanent Residency in Latvia
Latvia is a baltic country in the northern Europe. Latvia is also a schengen member country which joined theEuropean Union in 2004 and the currency in Latvia is Euro.
- EU schengen member country
- Visa free travel to schengen and other EU countries
- Real Estate Investment
- Low cost of living
Latvia offers a new residence program for investors and the residence program allows visa free travel in other European and schengen countries.
As of 2014, we are pleased to announce that we are assisting clients in Latvia on business immigration and real estate. We offer 2 packages for Latvia
Latvia Immigration Packages
1. Latvia Business Immigration Package (EUR 80,000)
Get residency in Latvia through company investment (The investor will become a board member or similar to qualify for TRP). The total not refundable costs will be around EUR 80,000 and it takes 2-3 months to receive your Temporary Residence Permit (TRP). This is a special immigration option for people who can’t be in Latvia all the time. You still can get Permanent Residency (PRP) after 5 years.
2. Latvia Real Estate Investment Package (EUR 250,000 + 5% state fee)
Just buy a real estate in the Latvia, you will receive a Temporary residence permit (TRP) in Latvia which is valid for 5 years. The total costs comes starting around EUR 280,000 for the real estate and about 3 months to receive the residence permit
Note: It is only possible to apply for Permanent Residency in Latvia, after 5 years of holding Temporary Residence Permit (TRP)
The Latvia business immigration is the cheapest way to get residence permit in Europe. Now and for a short period you also can start with a test year for as little as € 27.000. For the golden business immigration option the total non refundable amount is € 80.000 and it will be payable in instalments. After 5 years we will file the permanent residency application for you. The minimum real estate investment is EUR 250,000 plus a 5 % State fee on the purchase price. You have to calculate a minimum of around € 280.000. Non-EU investors will be issued TRP `temporary residence permit` with annual renewal. You have to visit Latvia while renewing the permit, takes 7-10 days. The TRP residence permit issued is a biometric card (replaces visa sticker) allows visa free travel to all 25 Schengen countries and is allowed to stay 90 days in every 6 month period in Schengen countries. It is also issued to any family members accompanying with the investor. The temporary residence permit grants the investor right of free movement to other European countries in Schengen zone. The investor is free to leave the country anytime and is not required to stay permanently in Latvia. If the foreigner wants to apply for “permanent residence permit” after 5 years, he/she must have continuously stayed in Latvia for 4 years and 2 months for the past 5 years. Exception is the business immigration option.
It is possible to apply for Latvia citizenship after 10 years of legal residence in Latvia.
We provide assistance in real estate, business immigration, residence, health insurance, accomodation and citizenship in Latvia. For more information on applicable fee and additional costs, please contact us or complete the below application.
We provide assistance to our clients in company formation, immigration, visa application, real estate, residence permit, in Latvia.
Please contact us for more information.