Latvian and Russian sides meet to improve business ties

  • 2009-08-05
  • By Darja Kuznecova

MY TURN: Cross-border business meeting ends in constructive dialogue.

RIGA - Progress was made in two key areas at the third session of the Russian-Latvian Intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific and technical, humanitarian and cultural cooperation which took place in Riga on July 29.
The two sides met to conduct talks to further economic cooperation between the two countries. The Russian delegation was headed by the Minister of Transport, Igor Levitin, while the Latvian side was represented by the Minister of Economics, Artis Kampars.

Both sides have agreed to consider the possibility of creating a joint venture on the technical support and repair of aviation equipment of Russian airlines on the basis of the already functioning technical center, run by the Latvian company Concors, located at Riga International Airport.
During the meeting the advancement of two important contracts, one on the protection of investments, the other on avoidance of double taxation, was discussed. "The agreement can be concluded this year," said Latvia's Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, after the meeting.
In parallel with the commission session was a meeting of the Russian-Latvian Business Council. Agreement was reached there on cooperation between the Latvian telecoms company Lattelecom and Russia's leading networks operator Sinterra.

The agreement about 'pairing' the networks continues cooperation between the companies started already in April of this year. The companies also announced the opening of the first commercial cross-border fiber-optic transmission network between Russia and Latvia.
"With the conclusion of the pairing agreement, our advantage as partners is greater. The Internet connection between our countries becomes faster. These are new opportunities for enterprises for which new possibilities of faster and reliable data exchange have opened. I hope that successful cooperation between our companies becomes an example for other Latvian and Russian enterprises," said vice president of finance for Lattelecom, Gints Bukovskis.

Additionally, a cooperation agreement between the Latvian commercial and industrial chambers of commerce, and the Moscow commercial and industrial chamber of commerce, was signed. The purpose of the agreement is to assist the cooperation in industrial, scientific and technical areas, reports news agency LETA. Both sides are obligated to communicate, to coordinate regularly their actions and to help businessmen with resolving problems.

"During this difficult period for businessmen, increasing value is in getting cooperation working with business contacts and partners in neighboring countries, therefore, we enter into the given agreement in the interests of our members, especially small and average enterprises," said the chairman of board of the Latvian commercial and industrial chamber of commerce, Zanete Jaunzeme-Grende.
The president of Alfa group, Peter Aven, said after the meeting that "Latvia remains a country attractive to the Russian investors, owing to the geographical arrangement, to the structure of the economy and to the recognition of Latvia in Russia. The aim of our business council also is to help the Russian and Latvian businessmen to develop joint investment projects."