Latvia is a Northern European country bordering Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. The vast majority of Latvia is undulating plains, while the rest is comprised of moderate hills. Latvia has a cool temperate oceanic climate with cool summers and relatively cold winters. Summers are warm and sunny with cool nights, while winters bring snow and below freezing temperatures.
Latvia takes its name from the Latvian people, whose ancestors settled in the area around 3000 BC. Baltic Germans became the ruling class in Latvia from the 16th century until the Latvian nationalism awakening in the 19th century. This nationalism was followed by a period of Rustication until a second awakening of Latvian nationalism resulted in the declaration of independence in 1918. Latvia lost its independence when it was absorbed into the USSR. Latvia declared independence from the USSR in 1991. Many ethnic Russians remain in Latvia to this day. Latvians have a rich tradition of folklore and other literature, and traditional music. Latvian folk songs often formed a connection between the human world and the natural and spiritual worlds. Most Latvians are Christian; many are Lutheran but there is a large amount of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Latvia had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world until the Financial Crisis of 2008, which heavily affected Latvia’s debt-exposed economy. In the years since 2011, Latvia’s economy has rebounded strongly and has been growing steadily. Latvia is an open economy and member of the EU, as well as the Eurozone, the OECD and the WTO.
Latvia is perceived as a very business-friendly and innovative destination and is situated in an ideal location at the crossroads of Europe and Russia, and close to the major European cities. This makes it an excellent opportunity for international investors and entrepreneurs looking for a European residency solution.