Latvia Military, Economy and Transportation

Latvia Military, Economy and Transportation


Economy overview: In 2000, Latvia’s transitional economy recovered from the August 1998 financial crisis in Russia, mainly due to the strict fiscal policy of the ┼áKELE government and the gradual reorientation of exports to EU countries, which reduces Latvia’s trade dependence on Russia. Latvia was officially admitted to the WTO in February 1999 (the first of the Baltic states). In December 1999, at the EU summit in Helsinki, Latvia received an invitation to start (in early 2000) negotiations on joining the EU. Unemployment in the country was 7.8% in 2000, against 9.6% in 1999 and 9.2% in 1998. The privatization of large state enterprises in the utilities sector and shipbuilding was again postponed in 2000 and political instability will prevent the completion of the privatization process next year. Latvia predicts 6% GDP growth in 2000, inflation of 2.5-3% and a budget deficit of 1.7%. Preparations for EU accession remain a foreign policy priority for the coming years.┬áSee to know more about Latvia Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $17.3 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 5.5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $7,200 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 5%; industry: 33%; services: 62% (1999).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 2.9%; by the top 10% of families: 25.9% (1998).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2.7% (2000).
Labor force: 1.4 million people (2000 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 10%, industry 25%, services 65% (2000 est.).
Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $1.33 billion; expenditures: $1.27 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (1998 est.).
Economic sectors: production of buses, vans, road and railway equipment, synthetic fiber, agricultural machinery, washing machines, radios, electronics, medicines, food and textile industries; note – the industry depends on imports of energy, raw materials and semi-finished products.
Growth in industrial production: 6.3% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 3.996 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 31.78%; hydropower: 68.22%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 4.316 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 400 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 1 billion kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; beef, milk, egg; fish.
Export: $2.1 billion (free on board, 2000)
Exports: timber and lumber, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs.
Export partners: Germany 16%, UK 11%, Sweden 11%, Russia 7% (1999).
Imports: $3.2 billion (free on board, 2000)
Import articles: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels.
Import partners: Russia 15%, Germany 10%, Finland 9%, Sweden 7% (1999).
External debt: $800 million (2000 est.). Economic aid recipient: $96.2 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Latvian lats.
Currency code: LVL
Exchange rate: LVL/USD – 0.614 (January 2001), 0.607 (2000), 0.585 (1999), 0.590 (1998), 0.581 (1997), 0.551 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 748,000 (1997).
Mobile Cell Phones: 175,348 (1999).
Telephone system: unsatisfactory, but the modernization of the means of providing international communication, independent of the Moscow international switchboard, has begun; more services will be provided to individual users; domestic: long-distance communication lines, rural telephone communication and mobile communication networks are expanding; many unsatisfied applications for the installation of telephones; international: international calls are now available via cable and satellite earth station in the Riga area, allowing most calls to be made directly (1998).
Broadcast stations: AM – 8, FM -56, shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 1.76 million (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 74 (1998).
Televisions: 1.22 million (1997)
Internet country code: lv
Internet providers: 42 (2000).
Number of users: 234,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: Transport Railways: total: 2,412 km; broad gauge: 2,379 km (1.520 m gauge) (271 km electrified) (1992); narrow gauge: 33 km (0.750 m gauge) (1994).
Roads: total: 59,178 km; coated: 22,843 km; unpaved: 36,335 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 300 km of rivers are navigable.
Pipelines: for crude oil – 750 km; for oil products – 780 km; for natural gas – 560 km (1992).
Ports and harbours: Ventspils, Daugavpils, Klaipeda, Liepaja, Riga.
Merchant navy: in total: 8 ships (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 27,984 gross register tons / 29,978 long tons of gross tonnage. ships of different types: cargo ships – 2, oil tankers – 3, refrigerated ships – 3 (2000 est.).
Airports: 25 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 13; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; from 914 to 1,523 m: 1; less than 914 m: 4 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 12; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; from 914 to 1523 m:2; less than 914 m: 7 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the armed forces: ground forces, navy, air force, air defense, security forces, border guards, militia (Zemessardze).
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 590,784 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 463,944 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 19,114 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $60 million (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 0.9% (1999).

International Issues

International problems International disputes: the draft agreement on the delimitation of the border with Russia has not been signed; the maritime border agreement with Lithuania (whose main task is to resolve the issue of oil production rights) has not been ratified.
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and hemp trafficked from Central and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Latin American cocaine and some synthetic drugs trafficked from Western Europe to CIS countries; limited production of illicit amphetamines, ephedrine and ecstasy for export.

Latvia Military