RIGA - Latvia and Portugal share common economic policy goals, President Egils Levits said at the closing of the Portugal-Latvia Business Forum today.
These goals include climate neutrality and the European green transition, which should speed up renewable technologies and stop the use of fossil fuels, said Levits. Due to Russia's aggressive war in Ukraine, this is also a security matter, as much as the climate emergency.
"Both Latvia and Portugal recognize that innovation and technology will be important drivers of our economic growth in the 21st century. As smaller European Union nations we can agree that an excellent education system and scientific achievements will give the needed competitive advantage in the new global economy," said Levits.
Portugal is harnessing offshore and onshore wind energy, while in Latvia the green source for electricity production is the three hydropower stations, emphasized Levits. Both countries are making their contributions toward faster transition to renewable energy use in Europe yet, we both need to do more and collaborate on developing new technologies, like green hydrogen.
Latvia's Green and Smart Technology Cluster together with 43 other partners from the other two Baltic countries, Finland, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France and Norway is launching a five-year project BalticSeaH2 with the aim of creating the first and the largest transnational hydrogen ecosystem in the region, Levits pointed out. This is a Horizon Europe project.
Latvia and Portugal have well-developed life sciences and biomedicine sectors with focus on the research and development. More cooperation could help accelerate progress, for example, in the fight against cancer.
Levits is very glad that during his visit to Portugal he will witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Champalimaud Fundacao and three Latvian science institutions: Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, Riga Stradins University and Riga Technical University. The agreement foresees cooperation by developing innovative technologies and paradigms in the field of breast cancer.
"It may initiate a new surgical era: the so-called surgical metaverse. This will be our common contribution towards diminishing country borders in the fight against breast cancer and perform breast cancer operations together, from Riga and Lisbon," said Levits.
As reported, Levits is on a state visit to Portugal through April 14.