Future of forestry industry in Estonia and Latvia key topic in Estonia – Latvia Business Forum 2019

On Thursday 12th of September key people from forestry and wood manufacturing sector gathered at SPARK Demo centre in Tartu to discuss future trends, challenges and collaboration opportunities of the forestry industry during annual Estonia-Latvia Business Forum 2019.

The forum involved prominent entrepreneurs and experts from the sector as speakers – Mr Ivar Dembovski, Chairman of the Board of AS Rait, Mr Sven Mats, CEO of AS Matek, Professor Jaan Kers from TalTech, Mr Martins Gaigals from SIA VMF Latvia and others.

The speakers of the Forum underlined that forest and wood have been and are one of the most important, if not the most important, natural resources of Estonia and Latvia. The key takeaway is that it is our opportunity to utilize their potential fully for the benefit of the growth of the regional economy and society in general.

To achieve this, we need to valorize the wood. Either process it as biomass as presented by professor Kers or to make use of it as “new concrete of 21st century in the construction sector” as indicated by Mr Mats. The sector needs to stay up to date, meaning that implementing ICT tools and digitalizing the business and manufacturing processes is of critical importance as Mr Gaigals pointed out.

Participants of the forum agreed that there are no real borders between Estonia and Latvia. It is our home market, and we should take care of it responsibly together.

The forum concluded with the Livonia Award ceremony where one Estonian and one Latvian company is recognized for their entrepreneurial achievements and contribution to the development of the economy in the neighbouring country.

This year’s award winners were AS Graanul Invest from Estonia and SIA Latvijas Finieris from Latvia. 

A short recap of the event with interviews of award winners (in Estonian) can be found on Estonian Public Broadcasting webpage

Livonia Award winners and presenters from left to right: Mr. Kaspars Pacevics (Sakret), Mr. Raimonds Jansons (Latvian Ambassador in Estonia), Mr. Janis Stairs (Latvijas Finieris), Mr. Andres Laht (Kohila Vineer), Mr. Raul Kirjanen (Graanul Invest), Mr. Arti Hilpus (Estonian Ambassador in Latvia) and Mr Ando Leppiman (Secretary General of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication).

You can find the presentations of the Forum here:

Mr Ivar Dembovski kindly asked not to share his slides publicly.

Professor Jaan Kers – “The future of wood and lignocellulosic biomass valorization in Estonia and Latvia.”

Ms Helena Järviste – “Estonia-Latvia programme support for the companies.”

Ms Liga Siceva – “Delbi 2 – cooperation development between Estonian and Latvian companies.” 

Mr Martin Gaigals – “IT development for timber flow support in Latvia.”

Mr Sven Mats – “Wood in construction – new concrete of 21st century!?”

Estonia – Latvia Business Forum was organized by Tartu Science Park, Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Estonian Business Chamber in Latvia within the project DELBI2.

Project DELBI2 is being implemented and co-financed with the support of the Estonia-Latvia Programme.