In the Baltic you will find powerhouse companies leading the way in many industries including chemical goods, power, software and oil. These companies all are helping the Baltic States to develop individually and as a whole. Latvia, in particular, continues to be a growing market especially as a strategic location for imports and exports, and as its economic conditions become more stable there are more people looking to invest. Understanding which companies are ranked as some of the top companies, will help you make decisions when it comes to investing and recognizing good business opportunities in imports and exports.
URALCHEM – CHEMICAL GOODS AND RAW MATERIALS
With its beginnings since 1929 when construction began, it is one of the oldest and most established companies in the Baltic States. Since the 1990’s it has been involved in producing new chemicals that are being exporting like diammonium phosphate (DAP). In 2002 they began the ISO 9001 Quality Management at the Voskresensk Mineral Fertilizers. Through the years URALCHEM had been a group of plants, but in 2004 it was privatized and in the following years it was restructured to created the three companies that they have today: URALCHEM Trans LLC, URALCHEM Freight Limited and URALCHEM OJSC. Due to the disintegration of the OJSC merger, the URALCHEM group began a reorganization of joint stock companies, all of this as part of a project to reach a unified share. In 2010 URALCHEM Trading obtained the Certification of SIA within FIAS, which is the Scheme for observance of lawfulness and safety of the mineral fertilizers industry. In 2011, the URALCHEM Group is known as the largest producer of ammonia and ammonium nitrate in Russia, as well as the second-largest producer of urea. In this year, after a few stock movements, OJSC Mineral Fertilizers (Perm) now has 100% ownership of URALCHEM Group. In recent years, it has upgraded production facilities and improved operational procedures through an integrated program that has actually also helped to increase labor productivity by 4.2% in comparison to 2013. In 2014, it changed its name to Joint Stock Company “United Chemical Company URALCHEM” (JSC URALCHEM).
Latvenergo – POWER INDUSTRY, PROJECTING AND CONSTRUCTION
Another company that has been around since the 1930s is Latvenergo a power supply company that is still going strong today. It was even rated in 2011 as the second most attractive employer in all of Latvia, and third in 2010, by WorkingDay Latvia. At that moment in time, they began using a new trademark, Elektrum, and held 32% of the market share in the Baltics. They executed projects that would enhance and stabilize powered supplied to Riga, which at the same time gave a more secure connection of the networks. With the effort to increase transparency in their industry, Latvenergo signed an agreement of energy exchange with Nord Pool Spot. With this agreement there are opportunities made for purchase and supply generated electricity and this way improve liquidity and transparency in this market. In 2014, they were now in the position to use the Lithuania-Sweden marine cable NordBalt to access the Nordic electricity market. From January 1 of last year, the electricity market is completely open to households in Latvia, finally accomplishing a complete liberalization of the market in this country. In 2015, it entered the capital market with green securities, making it the first state-owned electric company in Eastern Europe. All of the funds raised with the sales of its bonds, which were going for EUR 75 million in 2015, are going to be used to promote the use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and environmental protection. The company is also part of The Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) and has even become a development corporate member, which means they promote the development of best corporate governance practice in Latvia.
Elko Group – COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY, SOFTWARE
Since 1930, the work of four young entrepreneurs gave way to the company ELKO, which today is recognized as one of the leading IT companies in Latvia. Their initial goal was to provide Latvian retailers with uncommon IT products for the time. They began to expand al over Europe and continue to do so until they are all over. They even signed a distribution contract with Microsoft because it earned an award due to their fast startup and outstanding performance in emerging markets. They were recognized by this multinational company and leader in the market as the most dynamic INTEL distributor in the FSU. They later went on to sign distribution contracts with other brands like APC, AXIS, and GIGABYTE. In 2002, they began the ELKO event, which quickly turns into tradition and is held every two years, where the leading manufacturers, distributors and media gather in Riga. In 2005, ELKO Group becomes the largest company in Latvia, and they bring on HITACHI and SAPPHIRE as part of their distribution contracts. They continue to be recognized and awarded for their outstanding work and set the bar for other IT companies in Latvia to this day.