Every fourth person to have emigrated from Latvia in the 21st century and every fifth Latvian of young age contemplated creating a company in Latvia, create a company on his own or help his employer form business relations with Latvian partners, according to results of a survey carried out by researchers of the University of Latvia.
Currently available information states that multiple generations of Latvians have left Latvia at one point or another throughout the country’s history. The estimated number of their descendants is around 370,000. It is an important resource that could potentially benefit Latvia’s economic growth even in spite of the fact that these people currently live outside of Latvia, as concluded by experts.
Here are four ways how Latvians who live abroad can help warm up Latvia’s economy. Information is provided by International Relations and Communications specialist of the Bank of Latvia Andris Strazds, Prof. Mikhail Hazan of the University of Latvia and Nordplay owner Peteris Stupans.
People send money back home
Every third Latvian living abroad (34%) carries out regular money transfer transactions to Latvia, according to a survey carried out by researchers of the University of Latvia. 14,068 respondents from 118 countries of the world participated in this survey. According to estimates of the Bank of Latvia, regular money transfer transactions to Latvia exceed EUR 500 million annually. This money now make up for 2% to 3% of Latvia’s GDP.
Exchange of experience and knowledge
According to Latvian Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy for relations with Latvian diaspora Peteris Elferts, Latvians live and work in more than 120 countries of the world. Latvians living abroad can help Latvian entrepreneurs explore new markets. Specialists of Latvian origin can also work as consultants and trainers in Latvian companies to help share their intellectual potential with others and strengthen the country’s national economy.
Creating new and innovative companies in Latvia
The research project titled «Communities of Latvian emigrants» carried out by Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the University of Latvia in cooperation with the university’s Economics and Management faculty helped discover that every fourth Latvian emigrant to have left Latvia in the 21st century has plans or considers opening a business in Latvia. 6% of representatives of the so-called young diaspora have already found jobs in Latvia, another 3% have already created a business in the country.
Many Latvian emigrants plan to return to Latvia with pensions earned abroad
Many representatives of Latvian diaspora allow for the possibility of returning to Latvia after retiring. This could potentially help Latvia’s national economy. According to available information, 70% of people who return to Latvia later on in life believe the time they spent abroad had a positive impact on their professional skills and 82% believe it left a positive impact on their level of confidence.
In order to involve the diaspora in the development of Latvia’s economy, the World Latvian Economic and Growth Forum will be organized for a second time. It will take place in Riga on 10 July. On Wednesday, 8 July, there will be a special forum for youngsters: Junior-PLEIF.