RIGA - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, hosted the first meeting of Directors General for Development Cooperation from the Baltic States and Nordic countries (Nordic-Baltic Eight, NB8) on Tuesday.
This was the first ever discussion in that format among the NB8 countries held on the proposal of Latvia as this year’s coordinator of the NB8 cooperation. The Directors General also agreed to hold meetings in that format in future, LETA was told by the Foreign Ministry.
The Directors General discussed the issues of support to Ukraine, reconstruction in particular, and the countries agreed on pursuing an even closer coordination in the future. The NB8 meeting was chaired by the Head of Economic Relations, Trade and Development Cooperation Directorate, Alise Balode, who informed her NB8 colleagues about Latvia’s current support for Ukraine and planned involvement in the reconstruction of Chernihiv in Ukraine.
The meeting also discussed the factors facilitating the development of partner countries: gender equality, digitalization and climate action. Anna Andersone, CEO and Chair of the Board at the non-governmental organization Riga TechGirls, presented Latvia’s experience in promoting gender equality and entrepreneurship. In 2022 and 2023, Riga TechGirls has been implementing a development cooperation project financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aimed at the involvement of women in entrepreneurship in the field of technology in Uzbekistan by providing support for the establishment and development of technology companies founded and run by women.
At the end of the meeting, the NB8 Directors-General for Development Cooperation shared experience on the national development cooperation architecture in their home countries. Balode briefed her counterparts that Latvia has had its own development cooperation agency since January 1, 2022 and its functions have been entrusted to the Central Finance and Contracts Agency (CFLA).
The NB8 format comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. The meeting on development cooperation matters was convened on the initiative of Latvia as the country coordinating the NB8 format this year.