Education and knowledge hold as powerful export potential as business activities, Education and Science Minister Ina Druviete said during the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s award ceremony on Feb. 20, reports Nozare.lv. “We have gotten used to hearing that Latvia’s exports are strong in manufacturing and other sectors. However, it is possible to export intellectual values - education and knowledge - with the same success, improving the study process, bolstering the university’s reputation and significantly contributing to Latvia’s economy,” said the minister. The number of foreign students at Riga Stradins University has increased more than ten-fold over the past four years. The university is currently attracting students from 32 countries worldwide. Its international prestige, high quality studies and European values are the signs of quality, due to which the university has been awarded the Krisjanis Valdemars Award in exports.
Forty-five percent of voting age residents in Latvia either support, or do not have any objections to, including Harmony Center in a government coalition if such a decision was to be made now, according to a survey carried out by the market and public opinion research center SKDS and the Russian language television station Pirmais Baltijas Kanals (PBK). According to the survey, 22.3 percent of residents support including Harmony Center in a government coalition, while 22.6 percent would not have any objections. Meanwhile, 41 percent of residents are either completely against or would object to a government coalition which would include Harmony Center, while 14 percent of voters do not have a specific point of view on this matter. This survey was carried out the end of January throughout Latvia. 1,000 persons between the ages of 18 to 74 were surveyed.
On Feb. 27 Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis (Greens/Farmers) met with British Defense Ministry State Secretary Philip Hammond, during which the two sides signed a protocol for cooperation in a project aimed at mechanizing Latvia’s infantry brigade, said Defense Ministry spokesman Kaspars Galkins, reports LETA. The protocol establishes the commitment from both sides to sign an intergovernmental agreement between Latvia and Great Britain for the purchase of armored vehicles which have been in limited use or have been rebuilt. Currently, the Defense Ministry plans to purchase 120 such armored vehicles from Great Britain, which will be priced at approximately 70 million euros. During the signing, Vejonis emphasized that this is the first step in the National Armed Forces’ long-term development plans and an important investment in strengthening Latvia’s defense capabilities. He added that, unfortunately, due to the economic crisis, the mechanization project had been put on holds for several years.