100 years ago, in 1918, in the middle of the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were born as independent states. Everywhere you go in the Baltics this year you will see signs celebrating these centennials.
Independence was, however, brief and half of the time the countries were occupied, but today the anniversaries can be celebrated after 27 years of being free nations again. These past 27 years have been a fast track towards developing successful and stable democratic countries, with modern industry and infrastructure and well-integrated in Europe and the rest of the World through memberships of both EU and NATO. 27 years might seem a long time to some, but in terms of nation building, it is very brief. Nevertheless, in many cases such as e.g. digitalization and IT, the Baltic countries are today frontrunners compared to the “old” countries in e.g. Western Europe. This has only been possible due to a strong consensus in the countries regarding the long-term goal; as expressed by the first Estonian ambassador in Denmark: “to become another boring Scandinavian country”. In my opinion, the Baltics are everything but boring, but certainly, a lot has been achieved in developing societies based on rule of law and rights of liberty of the individual.
At the same time as the Baltic States are celebrating 100 years, HD Forest can celebrate 20 years of operations in the Baltics. We have also come a long way since the beginning – but as with the countries we are working in – we still have high ambitions for further development and trust in the bright future we believe lies ahead of us.
I hope you will enjoy reading our newsletter.
Peter Vind Larsen