Sirgmets, R., Teder, M. and Kaimre, P.* 2019. The Structural Changes and Competitiveness of the Forestry and Wood Sector in the Baltic Countries within 1999-2016. Baltic Forestry 25(1): 97-104.

   The structural changes and the competitiveness of the forestry and wood sector in three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – were analysed within the period 1999-2016. Different concepts of competitiveness are discussed in the introductory part to find a proper approach for empirical analysis. Time series data of international trade from the Eurostat database were used to analyse the development of forestry and wood sectors in the Baltic countries. The relative trade advantage (RTA) index was applied for assessing the relative success of foreign trade, referred to aggregated EU28. The forestry and wood sector of the Baltic countries has mainly oriented to the mechanical wood processing, which formed 68% of Estonian, 64% of Latvian and 59% of Lithuanian total output value in 2015. However, the trends are dissimilar: the expanding of mechanical wood processing was remarkable in Estonia while in Latvia the forestry and logging, in Lithuania the paper and paper products increased their share.

   The value of exported goods by the forestry and wood sector has increased more than 200% in Estonia and Latvia, and approximately 500% in Lithuania during the period from 1999 to 2016. At the same time the decrease of RTA index for primary products (forestry and logging) is common for all countries.

Keywords: forestry and wood sector, competitiveness, Baltic countries, relative trade advantage index