The years following World War II saw a shift in Latvia's major economic activity from agriculture and toward Soviet-style heavy industry. In 1990, agriculture
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
In 1993, 33 percent of Latvia's exports were directed toward Western Europe while 48 percent were directed toward the republics of the former Soviet Union. By 1999, exports toward the European Union were at 63 percent while export with the former Soviet Union states was reduced to 12 percent. The export of services has experienced rapid growth—22 percent in the first three-quarters of 2000 alone. These services include information technologies and computer software, international trade banks, and cargo services. As the Latvian economy models itself on the economies of the West, such services will play an even more important role in Latvia's integration into the European Union. These exports have been of great value, providing stability at a moment when external shocks, such as a strengthened dollar and rising oil prices, have hurt the trade balance.