Economy of Latvia
The economy of Latvia is an open economy in Northern Europe and is part of the European Union's (EU) single market. Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1999, a member of the European Union since 2004, and of the Euro zone since 2014. Latvia is ranked the 21st in the world by the Ease of Doing Business Index prepared by the World Bank Group. According to the Human Development Report 2011, Latvia belongs to the group of very high human development countries. Due to its geographical location, transit services are highly developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronic devices.
Latvia's economy has had rapid GDP growth of more than 10% per year during 2006-07, but entered a severe recession in 2009 as a result of an unsustainable current account deficit, collapse of the real estate market, and large debt exposure amid the softening world economy. In 2011 Latvia achieved GDP growth by 5.5% and thus Latvia again was among the fastest growing economies in the European Union. The IMF/EU program successfully concluded in December 2011.
Privatization is mostly complete, except for some of the large state-owned utilities. Export growth contributed to the economic recovery, however the bulk of the country's economic activity is in the services sector. In May 2013, the OECD decided to open accession negotiations with Latvia. Privatisation
Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. Virtually all of the previously state-owned small and medium companies have been privatized, leaving only a small number of politically sensitive large state companies. In particular, the country's main energy company, Latvenergo remains state-owned and there are no plans to privatize it. The government also holds minority shares inVentspils Nafta oil transit company and the country's main telecom company Lattelecom but it plans to sell those. Energy
With Lithuania, Poland, and Estonia, Latvia is considering participating in the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania to replace the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.
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