The Baltics as a Business Location for Information Technology and Electronics Industries

Marja Nissinen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This study examines the current state of the ICT and electronics industries in the three Baltic States. In doing this, it implicitly highlights the opportunities for co-operation between Baltic and Finnish firms. The study consists of three parts: 1 a sector analysis of the industry, 2 a review of the education and research system in the field under consideration, and 3 an analysis of the business culture and the business environment. The first section is based on extensive surveys among ICT and electronics enterprises in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It sheds light on the following areas: the size and the growth prospects of the ICT and electronics industries, their focus of production and core competence, the significance of exports and subcontracting as well as the prevailing interest in Finland. Higher education is examined from the perspective of the availability of workforce; research from that of innovation capacity. Finally, the report discusses the qualities of Baltic employees, specialities of the local business culture and appropriate ways to approach a Baltic company. The ICT and electronics industries in the Baltic States have differentiated profiles with their own specific strongholds. To cite examples, mobile technologies and electronics subcontracting are advanced in Estonia, software outsourcing and optical technologies in Latvia, television electronics and laser technologies in Lithuania. As for IT, the wages are lowest and the availability of qualified specialists is best in Lithuania. Latvia is the strongest exporter of software service in the Baltics. Estonia's business environment is slightly better developed than that of its southern neighbours. Despite their buoyant development, the Baltics face a serious challenge as they are pressed to steer their industrial development in a more innovation-driven direction. The lack of funding for universities and research institutes is currently so alarming that it is starting to threaten the future of science. Due to low salaries, an academic career does not appeal to young, talented graduates, which has led to the ageing of the researcher pool. Corporate R&D and contract research are marginal, patenting activity is meagre, and the number of innovative enterprises is small.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages245
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6094-9
ISBN (Print)951-38-6093-0
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes


  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • information technology
  • telecommunications
  • electronics
  • sector analysis of industry
  • market survey
  • higher education
  • research and innovation system
  • business culture
  • business environment


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