RIGA - Latvia is planning to sign a cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia with the aim of fostering economic ties and cooperation between the two countries' institutions and companies, according to regulations that the Cabinet of Ministers approved on Tuesday.
Latvia and Saudi Arabia plan to expand cooperation in trade, investment, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and food industry, transport and logistics, science, technology and innovation, tourism, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and information and communication technologies.
In order to achieve the objectives of the agreement, the parties will encourage and facilitate communication and cooperation between both countries' public authorities, establishment of ties between business organizations, chambers of commerce and associations, organization of visits and events, participation of residents and companies from both countries in trade fairs, exhibitions and seminars, establishment of joint ventures, small and medium-sized enterprises' participation in bilateral economic relations, and others.
The parties will on a regular basis exchange information on trade, investment, financial services and other information necessary to promote and facilitate their economic cooperation.
The agreement also states that the parties are aware of the importance of effective protection of intellectual property rights and will regularly exchange information on laws and regulations governing the protection of intellectual property rights in both countries.
Latvia and Saudi Arabia will set up a joint committee that will monitor and review implementation of the agreement, consider and adopt recommendations to strengthen and promote economic cooperation between the two countries, discuss obstacles to the development of economic and trade cooperation, and make recommendations for amendments to the agreement.
Last year, Saudi Arabia was Latvia's 39th largest foreign trade partner. Total trade turnover amounted to EUR 88.41 million, including exports worth EUR 88.35 million, comprised by 87 percent of plant products - wheat, wheat and rye mixtures, as well as barley, while imports from Saudi Arabia amounted to EUR 0.07 million.
Economics Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) will sign the agreement on behalf of Latvia.