Riga has always been a city with strong potential for development, and today it remains the driving force of the Latvian economy concentrating 77% of foreign direct investment, as well as strategically important cooperation partner and one of the largest cities in Northern Europe, which is recognized as one of the most important regions of the world for business development.
Being the centre of a well-developed transport infrastructure, today Riga fulfils the functions of being the main transportation hub between East and West markets. It is still a natural platform for trade between the EU and the growing Russian consumers market. The great location at the junction of international railways and highways, as well as access to an international airport with direct flights to 79 destinations are essential preconditions for Riga’s economic competitiveness on a world scale. Freeport of Riga is the largest harbour in the Baltic countries with its free economic zone stimulates the economy growth in the city economy.
Nowadays Riga is one of the most attractive areas for investment in the Northern Europe – an educated workface and low business costs, turns the City into an attractive investment destination and it’s justified by Latvia’s liberal tax policy, low business start-up costs, as well as comparatively low production and service costs. We have set a priority to develop the knowledge- based economy that will affect a range of economy indexes like the number of employed in the city, income to the city budget from taxes, daily consumption volume, interest of foreign investors, export of local enterprises, investment to infrastructure as well as cooperation among educational establishments and enterprises.
Riga has also the capacity to surprise tourists and guests of the City with its rich cultural and historical heritage. The Old Town of the City is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Being abundant with cultural events, the city has been nominated as the European Capital of Culture 2014.
Dear guests, colleagues, entrepreneurs and leaders of business organizations, the City of Riga sees a great potential for cooperation with the Metropolises and Cities around the Baltic Sea Region on economic, tourism and commercial issues and I wish to express my belief that the Baltic Development Forum Summit in Riga will build up strong, successful relationship and help to expand business contacts for every participant as well as you all will enjoy the hospitality, atmosphere and culture life of Riga city!