Latvia's military industrial sector approaches billion-euro size

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The total turnover of the Latvian military industry sector exceeds 800 million euros per year, approaching the billion euro mark, but industry companies pay more than 80 million euros in taxes annually, Elīna Egle, chairwoman of the board of the Federation of Latvian Security and Defense Industries (DAIF), said in an interview with Latvian Radio November 11.

According to her, about 50 companies supply the Latvian army and various structures of the Ministry of the Interior, while the very "core of the military industry" – about 100 companies – are active exporters.

"Therefore, we work not only for Latvia's security, but also for the needs of international security," said Egle.

When asked what Latvian military industry companies produce and export, the head of the federation stated that there are companies that work, for example, with the creation of critical infrastructure. "There are companies that both build and develop various engineering systems that supply safe energy solutions. We could mention a lot of companies here," Egle said.

She said there are also a number of companies working on sea, air and also land platforms, and more working in communications, and cyber security, an area which she said has been "particularly hot" for the last year.

Another area where Latvian military industry companies operate is related to equipment. "Here is both functional food, special ammunition, and tactical clothing, which is necessary on a daily basis," said the representative of the federation.

She admitted that the growth perspective of Latvian military industry companies is currently good. "Of course, we have the honor and duty to support the needs of our army and the internal affairs system as much as possible... our main challenge in the European market right now is to find raw materials and labor so that we can implement orders," said Egle.

In recent days DAIF has also called on newly-elected members of the 14th Saeima to keep the needs of the defense industry in mind when making decisions. 

"DAIF Latvia calls on politicians to ensure the full-fledged stability and growth of Latvia's economy, the development of European and Latvian security and defense capabilities, and strategic autonomy by implementing the decisions taken at the national, EU and NATO levels. The government must provide and Parliament must monitor measures," the organization said.

"Security, as the time of the pandemic and the war started by Russia in Ukraine teaches us, creates ever new challenges for the security and defense industries, as well as for the entire society and the economy in general. Safety must be a priority with concrete action to achieve it. Security is the basis for the survival of a nation," DAIF said.

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