Swedish entrepreneurs undeterred from investing in Baltics, survey shows

“The Baltic states are seen as a region favourable for business expansion, despite geopolitical tensions in Europe. Skilled labour, competitive costs, good taxation systems and geographic closeness to Sweden – these are some of the aspects of the Baltic states that are appreciated,” Lukas Danielevičius of Business Sweden was quoted in a press release. “A good pay and productivity ballance and positive growth outlook make the Baltic states attractive. Lithuania is more attractive to Swedish businesspeople due to significantly improved airline connections.”

The survey, conducted over March-April, was commissioned by Business Sweden, the embassies of Sweden in Vilnius, Riga and Talin, law firm SORAINEN, Handelsbanken and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency.

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The key findings of the survey are:

  • In general, the Baltic states are seen by Swedish entrepreneurs as a good place to do business. Qualified labour force for competitive cost levels, good tax system and strategically close location to Sweden are some of the most attractive aspects for the Swedish enterprises in the Baltics. Their motivation to do business in the three countries is strengthened by well-balanced salary levels as well as positive expectations for the development of the economy at large.
  • Recent geopolitical developments had some but not large effect for the respondents’ new investment decisions in the Baltics.
  • Good quality of life, good perception of Nordic companies, profitability of the local market, easiness to start a company, excellent ICT infrastructure were among the aspects which made the Baltic states attractive for doing business in 2012.
  • The survey shows positive trends and even higher values in these aspects in 2015.
  • Respondents from Estonia put top grades for quality of life and good business location, found Estonia to have favourable legislation and placed higher trust on the dispute settling system, whereas respondents from Lithuania scored medium-high grades on these aspects. Payment terms are considered to be better followed as well as more favourable tax system to be found in Estonia than in Latvia and Lithuania.
  • Availability of staff of all functions as well as salary to productivity ratio is considered to be better in Lithuania and worse in Estonia. Hardworking people are easier to be found in Lithuania, creative people – in Estonia, while loyal people are easier to come by in Latvia.
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