Nozares raksturojums Latvijā

Chemical industry in Latvia is versatile. Industry consists of ten sectors, covering various fields of operation, including manufacturing of petrochemical, paints, varnishes, soaps, fragrances, adhesives, glass fibre, water supply and treatment, waste collecting, sanitation, performance of studies and experimental developments in biotechnology etc.

Also wood chemicals industry, “life sciences” and studies in the manufacturing of medicines can be named as sub-sectors.

Mission of the cluster of pharmacy and related industries is to unite manufacturers, scientists and other interested parties to solve new social and economic problems with the help of modern research methods and innovative technologies, satisfy increasing demand of customers for the higher quality and safer pharmaceutical, biotechnological and functional cosmetics products, as well as healthier functional food in the global market.

Significant indicator of the industry is its export capacity as important part of the products manufactured in the industry (more than 70%) are exported abroad. As to the export proportion industry has the sixth highest export capacity indication within the whole processing industry that in total includes 11 manufacturing sectors. Besides export capacity of the chemical manufacturing and its related fields are higher than in the processing industry in total where the export proportion exceeds 50%.

Leading export products in the chemical industry of Latvia are pharmaceutical products that comprise 37% from the total export amount, followed by plastic materials with 17% and glass fibre – 8%.

In the next few years small but stable growth is anticipated for the industry. To promote sales companies of the sector invest significant resources into the increasing of the market share in the existing markets and also acquiring of new markets.

  • Other professional, scientific and technical services
  • Computer programming, consulting and related activities
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and pharmaceuticals
  • Rubber compounds, glass fibre, paper
  • Manufacturing of rubber and plastic products
  • Delivery of raw materials, reagents and equipment
  • Education and scientific research
  • Chemicals and chemical agents
  • Manufacturing of chemicals and chemical products
  • Cosmetics
  • Paints, varnishes and construction chemicals
  • Detergents and cleansing products
  • Manufacturing of non-metallic mineral products
  • Coating, construction materials
  • Consumer goods
  • Manufacturing of soap, detergents, fragrances and cosmetics
  • Delivery of raw materials
  • reagents and equipment
  • Manufacturing of soap
  • detergents
  • fragrances and cosmetics
  • consulting and related activities
  • Other professional
  • scientific and technical services
  • Paints
  • varnishes and construction chemicals
  • Computer programming

Achievements and success stories

Latvian chemical and pharmaceutical industry can be proud of several success stories and innovations of the industry. One of the definite success stories is the manufacturer of cosmetics Madara that develops very interesting new products, tries to integrate natural products into the manufacturing of cosmetics and succeeds in that as these products are of high demand. Company has managed to clearly perceive this niche and develop it. On its turn, one of the most important achievements of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (BMC) is work with the vaccine prototype against the Lyme disease, second significant direction is early diagnostics of cancer, as well as development of new vaccines. Third perspective research direction is pharmacogenetics. Company PharmIdea that provides manufacturing and sales of self-developed sterile drugs in more than 50 export markets, are one of the winners of the prestigious Export and Innovation Award and Export Excellence Award The Red Jackets in 2017. Company Valmieras stikla šķiedra (VSŠ) that is currently one of the largest manufacturers of the glass fibre products in Europe with more than 50 years’ experience have developed modern manufacturing plants also in United Kingdom and USA, working on a global scale. Manufacturer of professional cosmetics products Kinetics Nail Systems launches innovative products in the market, outpacing the competition; also company demonstrates excellent results in the acquiring of external markets as exports invariably form more than 95% of the total sales of company; main export markets of the company are Russia, Poland, Middle East, Turkey, Netherlands and Italy. Of course, generally known success story are both grands of the Latvian pharmaceutical industry Olainfarm and Grindeks that are proud of globally renowned and highly demanded products. Olainfarm currently develops several new innovations, one of the novelties is preparation for the treatment of tuberculosis, but export product number one of Olainfarm is Neuromidin. Company Grindeks is proud of its triumph in the tender of the World Health Organisation with its product Oxytocin that undergoes successful and global development. In total company has 15 products with special success stories. Also company Silvanols with already 24 years of experience in manufacturing of food supplements of natural origin, medical equipment and medicines are a success story, creating product portfolio with more than 50 innovative products, for example, Astmosil that received the Export and Innovation Prize in the category “Most Innovative Product” in 2014 and since 2018 is available in the Latvian and Estonian market as GoRespiro.

Enterprises video stories

Nozares loma tautsaimniecībā


In comparison with other industries

Chemistry and pharmacy in 2017

Millions EUR

Source: Central statistics bureau data.


In comparison with other industries

Salary in 2017

Thousands EUR

Source: Central statistics bureau data.


In comparison with other industries

Export in 2017

Millions EUR

Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Industry report

The Association of the Latvian Chemical and Pharmaceutical regularly publishes an industry report about the current situation in the sector.

Nozare skaitļos

Industry turnover

Thousands EUR

Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Number of enterprises in Latvia

Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Total export

Millions EUR

Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Main markets

Largest market



Do not export


Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Number of employees in 2015

  • 7756Total in chemical industry
  • 2728Manufacturing of chemicals and related products
  • 2039Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and preparations
  • 2989Manufacturing of rubber and plastics products

Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Inhabitants income taxes


Source: Central statistics bureau data.

State social insurance indemnities


Source: Central statistics bureau data.

Educational establishments in Latvia

Higher education

Profesionālā izglītība

Riga Technical University

University of Latvia

Riga Stradins University

Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies

Daugavpils University

Profesionālā izglītība

Name of institution

lorem ipsum teksts

Industry development in Latvia

  1. In 1842 factory of Johann Riker was the first to start manufacturing soap and perfumery.

  2. In 1859 Janis Celms plaster factory was founded.

  3. In 1860 first factory of matches were opened in Latvia.

  4. In 1862 the first higher education establishment in Latvia was opened – Riga Polytechnic Institute offering studies for various majors.

  5. In 1883 A. Riterbergs factory of varnishes was opened but in 1885 – factory of paints “Maizel and Sons”.

First scientist and doctor of the Latvian origin David Hyronimus Grindel (1776–1836) was a professor of chemistry and pharmacy. The large pharmaceutical company “Grindeks” is named after him.

Wilhelm Ostwald (1853–1932) is the only scientist in Latvia that have received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on catalysis, chemical equilibria and reaction velocities.

Paul Walden (1863–1957), natural scientist of the Latvian origin. P. Walden was nominated for the Nobel Prize seven times and was closest to winning in 1914, but has not received the prize probably due to political issues.

Ivars Kalvins – Inventor of Mildronate.