The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania occupy a strategic location at the juncture of the EU, Nordic and CIS regions.

The Baltic GBS sector comprises of approximately 162 delivery centres, which is in a par with Ireland1 however overall employment is lower at 28,700 versus an estimated 85,000 in Ireland.

Global Business Services (GBS) in all three countries are expanding in size and becoming more sophisticated in functional and geographical scope, making them attractive markets for Irish companies to target for export sales and partnerships.

Three key types of centres exist: captive shared service centres (SSC) of multinational companies, business process outsourcing (BPO) providers and information technology outsourcing (ITO) providers. Client Service remains the largest function with Finance and IT growing fast in all countries. Estonia possesses niche expertise in Supply Chain, Latvia has a high BPO and ITO concentration, Lithuania is expanding in knowledge services.

There are strong regional influences in play. Most companies setting up in the Baltic States do so to service North European markets, although global remits are growing. Likewise the Baltic States tend to exhibit similar trends to those seen in larger C.E. European GBS markets such as Poland.

Digitisation is a powerful driver. Client Service centres often deliver technical advice and/or use social channels and chatbots. In Finance robotic process automation is popular. In IT there is increasing R&D and testing of new solutions for process optimisation, UX, cyber security, biometrics, data analytics, etc.

Opportunities for Irish companies in the Baltic States include export sales and potentially utilising a local centre to deliver a different capability or efficiency.

Market entry is straightforward due to the same currency, regulation and similarities in market size and business environment. Critical success factors include due preparation and understanding differences in communication style.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to assisting and supporting our clients in market entry and expansion. Our team of experienced professionals in the regional can support you in pre-visit intelligence and in-market introductions, launches, events, etc.

For more information, please contact info@iebn.org