Business environment

Smiltene County is located in the very centre of Vidzeme, where numerous roads and routes run together and cross each other. Due to its advantageous geographical location and available resources, Smiltene County has become an attractive and dynamic place, where a well-developed and competitive industry coexists with long-standing and strong traditions in education, culture and sports.


The distance from the municipality’s administrative centre, the town of Smiltene, to:

  • Riga, the capital of Latvia – 132 km
  • Estonian border town Valga – 45 km, Tallinn – 281 km
  • Lithuanian border – 213 km, Vilnius – 428 km
  • Russian border – 96 km, Pskov – 157 km,
  • Petersburg – 450 km,
  • Port of Riga – 134 km,
  • Port of Ventspils – 315 km,
  • Port of Liepaja – 342 km,
  • Riga International Airport, Latvia (RIX) – 142 km,
  • Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport, Estonia – 277 km,
  • Tartu Airport, Estonia – 126 km,


According to the Territory Development Level Index, Smiltene County takes the 25th place among 110 Latvian counties (index value 0.028).[1] When calculating the value of the Territory Development Level Index, the standard values of basic statistical indicators characterizing the development of the territories (municipalities) are taken into account, such as the demographic burden, unemployment, and the amount of income tax per capita in the municipal budget, etc.).

In total, 1,042 companies operate in the county (LLC “Lursoft” data on 12.06.2019) companies. During 2018, a total of 26 new companies were registered in the territory of the county, while 44 were liquidated.

Using both forest and rural resources, the main activities for the inhabitants of the county are forestry and woodworking, as well as agriculture (dairy and meat farming, pig farming, horse farming, grain and grass seed farming, cultivation of vegetables and other crops). Individual farms have focused on goat farming, beekeeping, fish farming, etc.

In the city, the residents of the county are more employed in road construction, food industry, trade, furniture production, sewing, and various service providing. The most represented sectors of the economy are as follow: agriculture and forestry – 39%; services – 48%; industry –7%; construction – 3%; others – 3%.

Based on the trade turnover, the largest enterprises have concentrated in forestry, woodworking, trade, road construction and food production. In 2018, 42 companies in Smiltene County worked with a turnover of more than one million euros.

[1] State Regional Development Agency