VILNIUS - Germany will collaborate with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the field of innovation through the new Innovation Club, an initiative launched by German Minister for Digitaland Transport Volker Wissing.
"We have signed an agreement, the first declaration of this Innovation Club and together with representatives from the business society, from the civil society, we want to discuss the content of this and have specific recommendations," Wissing told a press conference on Friday after signing the declaration. "We want to be in position where we can say "This is what we expect from the new (European – BNS) Commission".
Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite says cooperation with Germany is crucial for the Baltic states to compete with China and other innovation giants, which set lower standards for workers' welfare and health.
"To compete with that, it is not like we have to go to that level. We have to be even more open, even more proactive and take a more open approach. Regarding the infrastructure, the national security some of providers of services that perhaps draw some concern for liberal democracies and obviously we have to take measures," she told the press conference.
Latvia's Minister for the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Inga Berzina says the agreement is the start of a long-term growth of innovation in the Baltic States.
"Joint efforts and collaboration are key, we can see the fruits of it today. (...) To further grow the innovation and digitalization sector, this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. A lot of challenges are ahead of us," she said.
"It is not just a nice club that happened yesterday for the first time physically, but it is the beginning of a bigger movement," Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo added.