German investors are becoming increasingly positive about the business environment in the Baltics, a survey by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce shows. In 2011, nearly one-third of all German investors deemed the economic situation in Lithuania and Latvia to be 'bad' but this figure has since decreased to 3% for Lithuania and 13% for Latvia.
The survey revealed that more than one-third of German businesses in Estonia and Latvia and half in Lithuania are expecting to increase exports. Consequently, one-third of companies in the region plan to increase their employment numbers.
As in previous years, German investors ranked Estonia's business environment most highly out of all the Baltic countries, with 37% investors deeming the country's current economic situation to be 'good' and 63% rating it 'satisfactory'. This positive economic outlook is connected to the fact that, in 2012, the Baltic economies grew by 4%, making the region one of the fastest growing in Europe. Additionally, in the next two years it is expected that Latvia and Lithuania will follow Estonia in adopting the euro.
Investors are reacting positively to the steps that are being undertaken by the governments in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to support business. The pro-business policies in Estonia and Latvia are ranked by 73% and 92% of investors, respectively, as being either 'good' or 'satisfactory'.
In the case of Lithuania, investors are more cautious as the country’s prime minister Algirdas Butkevicius, who took office in December 2012, is yet to prove his pro-business credentials. German investors in Lithuania are split almost evenly between those that view the new government positively, those that view it negatively, and those that are indifferent. Nevertheless, 93% of respondents said that they had made a right decision investing in Lithuania. In the case of Latvia and Estonia, this figure stood at 83% and 94%, respectively.