History

In August 1921 some hesitant efforts were made by Swedish businessmen active in Riga to organize a Chamber of Commerce, the “Swedish Trade Association” with 41 members. In spite of pressure from the Latvian foreign minister Mejerovics to form a Chamber of Commerce out of this association to (for political reasons) be the first foreign chamber in Latvia, the efforts failed because of resistance from the Swedish Legation (and Foreign Office). However, in 1933 the Legation took the initiative to make some other Swedish businessmen organize a proper and acknowledged Chamber, “Schwedische Handelskammer in Riga”. The foundation took place on June 30, 1933 and as a formal acknowledgement the Chamber received two portraits of His Majesty the King on July 20 the same year. The address was Grosse Schlosstrasse 23 (Liela Pils iela). The Chamber was active up to the Soviet invasion 1940.

Swedish business was also active in Latvia during the Soviet era but the real growth began after the country regained independence in 1991. The business pioneers were to be found in the forestry, textile and the food processing industries. Informal meetings within the Swedish business community started in 1992 with the support of the Swedish Embassy. Activity increased during the next few years and a Chamber of Commerce in Latvia was established. The founding date was 19 June 1996. There are 101 members at present, representing most Swedish international companies and a large number of small and medium sized companies. Between 2000 - 2013 Sweden has been among the top-five largest foreign investors in Latvia.