The great geographic location on the seaboard of the Baltic Sea has made the Republic of Latvia one of the important spots for commercial trades in Europe. Since its reclaimed independence in 1991 and its entrance to the European Union in 2004, this Baltic country has gained more and more recognition in export trades among the euro zone. The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia reported that in 2014 the value of total exports increased by 2.3% and imports decreased by 0.2% compared to the previous year. The report also stated that exports to the European Union countries reached the 72% of the total volume of Latvian exports and increased by 354 million EUR or 5% over 2014.
In the current year, wood, wood products, and wood charcoal continue being the biggest exported goods of Latvia, reaching 163.195 million EUR which is 21% of its total exports. The export of electrical machinery and equipment has reached a 10.3% with 79.993 million EUR. In February 2016, the major export partners of Latvia were Lithuania (16.4%), Estonia (12.6%), Germany (6.8%), Poland (6.3%) and Russia (6%). But which goods are exported to these countries? Do any of them have trade agreements with Latvia? Seeing them separately will give a better idea of the export partnership Latvia has with each of them.
This neighbor country is the biggest export partner of Latvia, since around € 2.2 billion EUR of its total exports go to Lithuania. Latvia is the fourth major importer in Lithuania, making around 184.3 million EUR of its overall imports (7.5%). These Baltic States have a Free trade agreement on trade in agricultural products, agreement that also includes the third Baltic country of Estonia. Despite of this, the most exported product from Latvia to Lithuania is oil with around 390.3 million EUR, followed by electronic equipment with 346.6 million EUR. Other important products exported to Lithuania are vehicles (€ 172.1 million), machinery (€ 145.1 million), wood (€ 102.9 million), foodstuffs such as dairy, eggs, honey (€ 86.5 million) and pharmaceuticals (€ 80.3 million).
The third Baltic State is the second biggest export partner of Latvia. Currently, Latvian exports to Estonia are around 1.3 billion EUR which makes about 12% of its total exports. Estonia makes part of the trilateral agreement about agricultural products signed by the Baltic States. Wood is on the top as the most exported product to Estonia with amount of 170.5 million EUR. Second place is for electronic equipment with trades that are around 141.9 million EUR. In third place is machinery (€ 101 million), fourth are vehicles (€ 98.5 million), fifth are plastics (€ 61.1 million), sixth is iron and steel (€ 52.4 million), and pharmaceuticals are in the seventh place (€ 47 million).
These two countries have signed three bilateral agreements since the regained independence of Latvia. In 1993, Germany and Latvia signed two bilateral agreements, the first one about the protection and promotion of investments, and the second one about air, sea and road transport. Four years later, they also entered into a double taxation agreement. During the last year, Germany has become the third export partner of Latvia due to the current political and social difficulties with Russia. The amount of exports is about 756.4 million EUR, around 7% of total exports in Latvia. The principal product exported to the German country is wood with businesses amounted to 206.4 million EUR. Vehicles are in second place with 57 million EUR, and third glass with 47.6 million EUR. Then, there is electronic equipment (€ 46.5 million), furniture, lighting, and signs (€ 34.8 million), and machinery (€ 29.7 million).
Before the entrance of Latvia to the European Union, the Baltic state had free agreements trades with Poland. Nowadays, with the free trade Euro zone, the percentage of exports from Latvia to Poland is 6.3%, which is around 689.4 million EUR. The principal exported good is oil with trades amounted to 116.8 million EUR, follow closely by electronic equipment with 105.5 million EUR. Third place is for iron and steel (€ 65.2 million), fourth is wood (€ 53.1 million), fifth place is machinery (€23.6 million), and products made of iron and steel are in the sixth place (€21.9 million).
One year ago, Russia was the third export partner of Latvia with 920 million EUR. However, 2016 has shown some decrease in the export trades between these two countries due to the tense political situation in the region. But the Russian Federation is still one of the most important trade partners of Latvia. The export trades between Latvia and Russia have amounted to 608 million EUR, being around 6% of the total export trades of Latvia. Beverages, mostly alcoholic ones, are on the top of exported goods to Russia (27%), followed by machinery and electric equipments (26%), and pharmaceutical products (10%).