Today begins our blog series featuring the Baltic states. The Baltic states consist of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. With the Kunda culture of the region dating back to almost 8,000 BC, the region has a rich history and distinct culture. Beginning in the twelfth century the region was bounded together by Hanseatic League that included almost the entire Baltic region and northern Germany. The goal was for the cities to band together for mercantile purposes. This included a legal structure of its own that governed the cities as well as armies to protect the interests of the members.
In 1940 the Soviet Union gained control of the Baltic region where they imposed terrible repressions on the native population. This was briefly interrupted by Nazi Germany who imposed their own government on the region. Eventually the Soviet Union regained control of the region until the Baltic states gained their independence on September 6th, 1991.
Since then all three Baltic states have joined the European Union (EU) and are democracies that operate with an open market system. During the early and mid 2000s the countries grew at the fastest pace among countries in the EU with unemployment being below the EU average. The global economic crisis hit the region hard with unemployment reaching double digits in all three countries. Our series will focus on the Baltic countries and their impact on the international business world. For additional Baltic resources from globalEDGE take a look here!