Latvia – be succinct and don’t interrupt

Latvia – be succinct and don’t interrupt

Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of northern Europe and is one of the three Baltic states – the others being Estonia and Lithuania. It is bordered by those countries, along with Russia, Belarus and Sweden. It has a population of just over 2 million and the capital is Riga.

Latvian is the official language but about a third of the population also speaks Russian, a result of the country being part of the USSR for many years. Latvia joined the Euro on 1 January 2014.

Agricultural areas account for 29% of the total land area. A small proportion of farms are engaged in ecologically pure farming (using no artificial fertilisers or pesticides).

Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe, however tourism is increasing with visitors being attracted by the environmentally clean country and great bio-diversity.

Latvians are not particularly emotive speakers and are sometimes perceived by visitors as being cold or austere. They are courteous in their communication and do not appreciate interruptions. It is important to give meeting attendees ample time to complete what they are saying before speaking. It is also the norm in Latvia not to furnish speech with non-essential information.

The Latvian meeting is a fairly formal affair and agendas are followed throughout. The most senior Latvian attendee will typically make an opening speech which should then be followed by a speech from the most senior member of your visiting party.

Time can sometimes be used as a negotiation tactic and it is recommended therefore that you are cautious in respect to making it known if you are under any time constraints as this could be used to your disadvantage.

Before doing business in Latvia ensure your proposals are backed up with materials which summarise and rationalise your proposals. This material should be purely relevant and succinct. It should also be translated into Latvian.

Share your Latvian business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia,, Kwintessential

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