Effective cooperation for economic development is a priority in Latvia’s foreign policy and security - Braze

  • 2024-07-02
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Effective cooperation for economic development is a priority in Latvia’s foreign policy and security, Foreign Minister Baiba Braze (New Unity) said as she opened a business day for Latvia's honorary consuls and entrepreneurs, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry. 

In Braze's view, economic security today is as important a cornerstone of national security as military security; therefore, cooperation between the Foreign Service and the Latvian business community is essential in all foreign policy activities and formats.

Economics Minister Viktors Valainis (Greens/Farmers) also addressed participants of the networking event for the honorary consuls and Latvian businesses. The networking event aims at expanding business opportunities abroad, promoting the visibility of companies and facilitating exports.

Braze underlined that the role of the Foreign Service is being increasingly activated in order to help pursue the economic interests of Latvia, namely, as efficient as possible use of the tools at the service’s disposal – embassies abroad, representations in international organizations, cooperation with the representative offices of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and, of course, the network of honorary consuls – in support of businesses.

"The honorary consuls’ network is a strategically important foreign policy instrument for advancement of the economic interests of Latvia, which is also a security matter. In the geopolitical climate of the moment, it is critical to build and reinforce relationships with like-minded partners around the world. The network of the Latvian honorary consuls plays a major role in that," said Braze. 

The minister pointed out that the Foreign Ministry will continue working to strengthen the existing trade ties with the EU and North American markets, Japan, Korea, and Australia, while in exports today, the priority is to explore the new and fast-growing markets – Africa and Latin America. Braze called on Latvian companies to make an even more active use of the opportunities offered by the Foreign Service.

Almost 100 honorary consuls from more than 40 countries took part in the networking session organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Latvia's honorary consuls and Latvian businesses. The USA, Sweden, Ukraine, and Turkey are represented by the largest corps of Latvia's Honorary Consuls.

Cooperation partners from the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) introduced the honorary consuls to current developments and opportunities in economy, investment, science and technologies. 

During the networking event, the representatives of companies from various sectors and regions were given the opportunity to meet with the honorary consuls from countries of interest to their company. Altogether, 96 Latvian companies were represented in the networking sessions, ranging from traditional industries and food processing sectors to telecommunications and technology, as well as start-ups looking to expand operations of their companies’ and seek new cooperation partners abroad.

Some of the best-known participants of the networking session were Lursoft, LMT, OlainFarm, Exconicus, Lightspace, TestDevLab, Regulation Baltics, Jersika Chips. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses, considering the vast pool of contacts that the Honorary Consuls have in their home countries and their in-depth knowledge of the business environment in their countries and Latvia – this could contribute both to expanding exports and opening new markets for Latvian enterprises.

Experts from LTRK and LIAA welcomed the broad interest of the companies, in particular, as they specified their choice of export target countries. Business people showed interest both in better-known markets – EU member states – and in less explored potential partner countries in Latin America and Africa.

The honorary consuls also visited SAF Tehnika JSC, where they were introduced to high-tech solutions offered by the company for the security sector.

The networking session was included in the program of the three-day meeting so that the honorary consuls could gain an insight into latest developments of Latvia’s economic and business sector. On July 1, the honorary consuls met with the senior officials of the Latvian state and government – President Edgars Rinkevics, Saeima Speaker Daiga Mierina, Prime Minister Evika Silina, Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens, and the Minister of Climate and Energy, Kaspars Melnis, as well as with senior officials at line ministries. The honorary consuls also visited the cities of Cesis and Valmiera.