NO. 1 SALESMAN: Economy Minister Artis Kampars enjoys a trip to India seeking more cooperation between both countries.
RIGA - Latvia’s Economy Minister Artis Kampars (New Era) has invited Indian companies to actively make use of the advantages of Latvia’s geographical position and the potential of the country’s ports, and of the broad opportunities for cooperation in areas such as food processing, metal working and machine building, transport, transit and logistics, information technology and telecommunication, pharmaceuticals and education and science, reports Nozare.lv. A visit by a delegation of Indian businessmen could be organized for this summer, added the minister’s press secretary, Sandris Sabajevs.
At a meeting in the Indian capital New Delhi on Feb. 18, Kampars and Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma came to an agreement on invigorating economic cooperation between both countries. During the meeting, both ministers signed an agreement by the Latvian and Indian governments, making Latvia the first of the Baltic States to conclude such an agreement with India.
The agreement signed prescribes several measures for the protection of investments and investors’ rights, including full security guarantees, the application of national and most-favored status, the prevention of discrimination, free transfer of investments, and compensation for losses in cases foreseen by the agreement, as well as a mechanism for the settlement of disputes.
Until now, investments made by Latvian and Indian investors on the other country’s territory have been covered by the latter nation’s regulatory acts. No binding international agreements exist between the two countries regarding the applicable conditions for dealing with investments made by nationals of the other country. The agreement will still have to be approved by the Saeima before coming into effect.
According to Sabajevs, Latvia and India are also expected to sign an agreement soon on the prevention of double taxation.
Kampars and Sharma both expressed their belief in the great potential of cooperation between the two countries, and decided to form an intergovernmental commission this year in order to identify priority areas for cooperation and outline potentially fruitful projects.
On the visit Kampars also met with Preneet Kaur, Minister of State of the Indian Foreign Ministry, and met with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), where the Latvia-India business forum was taking place. Thirty Indian businessmen took part, representing areas such as IT, telecommunications, metal working and transport and logistics.
During the meeting with Kaur, discussion took place for new development in mutual cooperation, on the possible future direction for its development, as well as on the creation of necessary legislation. Kampars stressed that despite the current economic downturn, Latvia remains a competitive location for investment, including investment from India, in the region.
The Feb. 17 forum was organized by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency. Accompanying the minister in India were the LIDA’s chief, Andris Ozols, and CEOs from 10 companies.