Global business services

Global Business Service (GBS) sector is rapidly developing in Latvia. Our capital city Riga is the emerging GBS location in Europe. Riga provides GBS industry companies opportunities to develop, as well as offers competitive conditions and business environment for new investors. There are currently around 50 business service centers in Latvia employing 15k people in Riga. Who works there? Mainly IT, finance, customer service, logistics, personnel management and procurement specialists. University graduates are eager to work in GBS sector as it provides well-paid jobs with salary above the country’s average and favourable career development prospects. 

The industry has zero percent shadow economy; salaries are paid fairly, in accordance with the requirements of country’s legislation. Latvia is an attractive business location for GBS companies due to its highly skilled labour pool, language skills and Western work ethic of employees as well as the excellent location – access both to EU and CIS markets. 

Sector is made even more attractive by highly developed communications and logistics infrastructure. All this and also availability of large number of finance, HR, economics and IT specialists has turned Riga an excellent location for Global Business Service operations. By the way, an Association of Business Service Leaders ABSL was established in 2019 which is representing business services in Latvia.

Main subsectors

SSC, BPO, ITO 

Fast facts

  • We are proud to have the largest air transportation hub in the Baltic’s – Riga International Airport – offering 100 direct destinations.
  • Our beautiful country Latvia is also easy to work in as it ranks #19 in Ease of Doing Business (World Bank Doing Business ranking 2020) and #16 globally in Ease of Paying Taxes (PwC Paying Taxes 2020) facilitating new and existing companies to enter and scale.
  • We value the GBS companies that have selected Latvia for their operations. These companies primarily provide IT, finance & accounting, HR, and customer service functions. 
  • Riga might be the hidden gem or Paris of the North but it is also a recipient of an emerging GBS City 2019 award in Central Eastern Europe.
  • GBS companies, stationed in Riga, work globally – providing high value services for companies around the world, even North American, African and Asian countries.
  • Existing GBS companies in Latvia value quality of life and business environment with 100% satisfaction.

Industry leaders

  • Accenture is a leading provider of technology and technology consulting services using top talent that we recruit from our region. Currently company is employing ~1500 FTEs and having extensive IT training for new IT professionals.
  • Cognizant Latvia is one of the latest editions of Cognizant delivery network in Europe, focusing on delivering full cycle of IT services from nearshore locations in Europe. Cognizant Latvia delivers application development and application maintenance services to support our clients on their increasingly digital path. Company has more than 250 FTEs in Latvia.
  • Circle K Business Centre is providing services to support 3000 stores, 20 000 European employees and offices in 9 European countries. Company’s 630 employees are providing services in areas such as Finance, Supply, Distribution, HR, IT, Customer service, Procurement, Sales & Marketing. More than 200 of employees are speaking Scandinavian languages.
  • Cabot Business Service Center is responsible for providing financial, IT, purchasing and customer service support for Cabot Corporation, a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company. Company is constantly expanding and currently employs more than 250 FTEs. 
  • SEB Global Services in Riga supports SEB group’s operations by offering a wide range of services, including payment operations and cash management support as well as services related to trading products and IT. The centre also serves international banks and global financial institutions with services in transactions settlement and asset servicing of Nordic securities trades. SEB Latvia currently employs around 700 FTEs.

Industry statistics

  • We have quite a lot of GBS business centers in Latvia. 50 to be precise with 15k employees, 300 FTEs per company on average.
  • Our closest neighbours are especially attracted to us as 50% of companies present in Latvia are from Nordics.
  • Industry is growing and expanding its workforce; growth in terms of employment is 10% YoY.
  • Some say that AI and robots are not some distant future as they are present in many ways today. We will not argue with that as 80% of companies in GBS are testing and implementing robotics solutions in their organizations.
  • Expansion is fundamental in the global ever-changing business environment. Companies operating in Latvia know that and tend to expand the scope of their functions – 73% of companies have expanded their services portfolio in 2019.

Employment and education

  • Psychologists say that you have to get busy to be happy. And job can be a source of happiness, allowing connecting, using your skills and experience, self-actualizing and giving back to the world. The happiness is increasing as a memorandum was signed in 2018 with an overall aim to create 10 000 more jobs in sector to provide high added value services.
  • With currently 15k FTEs Latvia still has quite low market saturation of 1.6% giving an opportunity for newcomers. So you still got the opportunity but be quick as Latvia is small but very desired country to do business and invest in.
  • Most of GBS sector workers are tri-lingual (at least), speaking Latvian, English and Russian. Some are almost polyglots adding German and French to the mix. As we are close to Scandinavia, there are 1000 Scandinavian language speakers in GBS.
  • IT is an innovative, progressive, rapidly growing industry gaining significance globally. 29% of GBS workforce in Latvia is employed in IT positions.
  • GBS sector seems very alluring to the young graduates as it is prestigious, lucrative and dynamic attracting the young and fabulous (89% of employees are in age under 34).
  • GBS sector is one of the most pronounced examples and advocates of gender equality and inclusion in every step of the way. Also we defy the stereotype that IT, technologies and other GBS areas are not a place for women. 53% employed in GBS sector companies are women and it warms our heart that this number keeps on growing. 

Read why they have chosen Latvia

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