RIGA - Latvian Saeima speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) hopes that next year charter flights between Latvia and China will be started, thus stimulating economic cooperation and tourism.
Murniece said this during a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress or the Chinese parliament, Saeima press service reported.
During the meeting, Murniece said that Latvia and China have a very good political dialogue, and Latvia is ready for more active cooperation in trade, investments, and transport. Both countries also have the good cooperation of the parliaments.
The Saeima speaker underscored that China is Latvia’s main economic cooperation partner in the Far East, and this is a great time to improve economic cooperation between both countries. Murniece noted that export of Latvia’s good to China increased last year, and the number of Chinese tourists has grown sixfold since 2010.
Zhang during the meeting underscored the successful relations between both countries and underscored wish for closer cooperation in investments, transport, and infrastructure, as well as science and other sectors. He said that China is interested also in agriculture and pharmacy sectors.
Murniece said that the cooperation format 16+1 of Central and Eastern European countries and China is a good platform for promoting cooperation in addition to the Latvia-China and EU-China dialogues.
Murniece and Zhang today signed a memorandum of understanding between the Latvian and Chinese parliament, agreeing to strengthen cooperation between both institutions. Zhang also invited Murniece to visit China.
Latvian food producers have already earned recognition in the Chinese market, there are good cooperation perspectives also in pharmacy, timber processing, and tourism, therefore China is one of Latvia’s priority target markets in far tourism, said Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis during his meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress or the Chinese parliament, today.
He said that China is Latvia’s most significant economic cooperation partner in the Far East, and the second largest trade partner outside the EU. Latvia’s exports to China in 2016 rose by 8.5 percent, proving that it is a perspective market for Latvian goods and services.
"By developing bilateral economic cooperation, Latvia supports China’s investments in Latvian transport and logistics infrastructure, which is an important transit hum on the road from Asia to Northern Europe. Closer economic ties and tourism cooperation may also be promoted by opening direct air traffic between Latvia and China," said Vejonis.
The Latvian president noted that it is also important the develop legislative base between countries in education, science, and culture, said the president.
Zhang Dejiang during the meeting praised closer cooperation between China and Latvia that open opportunities to strengthen political and economic cooperation. He said that Latvia’s infrastructure, knowledge, and IT resources will help to further develop economic relations between China and Latvia, as well as other countries of the region.
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress or the Chinese parliament, is visiting Latvia on April 12-14.