Latvia - International trade

Latvia's geographical position has made it a strategic trading hub for generations, and this benefit continues as an increase in trade between East and West passes across its borders. There has been a significant shift in Latvia's international trade away from the states of the former Soviet Union and toward the EU and other western markets. In 2000, about 68 percent of exports were directed toward the EU. In 1998, Germany was Latvia's single largest tracking partner, with 16 percent of exports and 17 percent of imports. The United Kingdom was the second largest source of exports from Latvia, with 14 percent, followed by Russia with 12 percent, Sweden with 10 percent, and others. Russia was the second largest importer of goods to Latvia, with 12 percent, followed by Finland with 10 percent, and Sweden with 7 percent. About 65 percent of the energy imports come from Russia, but Estonia, with its nuclear reactors and available uranium, also provides electricity to Latvia. The EU is responsible for 45 percent of the imported machinery. All told, Latvia exported US$1.9 billion of goods in 1999 and imported US$2.8 billion in goods in 1998.

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