Baltic Report - General and Fintech Landscape

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The Baltic States, formed by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are seeking to create an environment favoring entrepreneurship, modern technologies and international talent. A little over six million inhabitants reside in the Baltic States. Indeed, it’s a relatively small market. Yet, in under such conditions, entrepreneurs need to be committed to international expansion and scaling up.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Baltic states struggled to make the transition to a market economy. Soon after regaining their independence, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had a strong societal impetus to (re)join Western political, economic, and legal culture. In 2004, they became members of European Union. Subsequent to a period of amazing growth in the early 2000’s, the “Baltic Tigers” did not make it through the recession completely unscathed, but are now steadily recovering.

In 2016 and 2017, all three Baltic States were in the top 50 of the Global Competitiveness Index. Estonia was ranked highest at 30th place among the 138 countries. The state scored really good in several pillars such as macroeconomic environment, education, labor market efficiency, and financial market development. Not far behind, Lithuania stood out for its higher education and training, as well as on technological readiness. Ranked 49th, Latvia was recognized for its great macroeconomic environment.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have an indisputable reputation of being the most developed of the former republics of USSR. Today,  they want to move away from being labeled as East European, post-Soviet states. Indeed, they are proud North Europeans or even Nordics. Nothing highlights their progress better than their leadership on the global stage: Lithuania became the first post-Soviet state to hold the EU Presidency, ascending to it in 2013; Latvia held the EU presidency in 2015; and Estonia hold it in 2017. All three countries are members of the European Union, NATO and the Eurozone. Estonia and Latvia are also members of the OECD, while Lithuania is expected to finalize negotiations in 2018. Today, the Baltic States play a diplomatic important role as the bridge the between East and West, between Europe and Russia, being spokesmen against the interventions in Georgia and Ukraine for example (...)