Rinkevics building ties with Malasia

  • 2012-05-02
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Reform Party), who seems to be on foreign trips more often than the similarly globe-trotting U.S. President Barack Obama, was in Malaysia on a ‘working visit’ last week.
Rinkevics spoke about potential cooperation areas between the two countries’ economies, including in the wood industry, IT, pharmacy, education. He invited Malaysia to participate in various events in Riga when the city becomes the European Capital of Culture, reports LETA.

During a meeting with Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Kohilan Pillay, Rinkevics emphasized the necessity for active bilateral cooperation in economy, politics and culture. The minister urged the Malaysian side to consider participating in Riga’s European Capital of Culture events with its own culture program. He also invited Malaysia to make use of Latvian-Malaysian student exchange opportunities.

The Latvian minister also held important talks on the EU-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement, which would provide greater opportunities for Latvian business on the rapidly growing Malaysian market. The officials exchanged opinions on the latest global developments, including Burma’s democratic reforms and the main tasks for the EU-ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations) foreign ministers’ meeting in Brunei.

While meeting with Malaysian Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Rinkevics emphasized potential cooperation areas in economy. The Malaysian minister wished to hear Latvia’s opinion on the economic situation in the EU and lauded Latvia’s achievements in overcoming the crisis. Rinkevics in turn pointed out that the crisis has forced Latvian businesses to seek new markets for economic cooperation, including Malaysia.

Rinkevics also met with Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot Anak Jaem, discussing several bilateral matters, including Latvian-Malaysian cooperation within the framework of international forums and organizations. Latvia highly appreciates Malaysia’s role in Southeast Asia and cooperation potential, says the Foreign Ministry. Rinkevics also expressed interest in the development of regional contacts and all levels of dialogue between both countries.