RIGA - Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) along with the parliament speakers from the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB 8) will make a visit to China from January 7 to 12 to step up the political dialogue between NB8 and China, LETA was told at the Saeima press office.
Murniece’s trip to China will be the first foreign visit of a top Latvian state official in Latvia’s centenary year. Murniece said that the joint visit will give an impulse to the Nordic and Baltic states’ regional cooperation with China, as well as strengthening Latvia’s bilateral ties with China.
The NB8 parliament speakers are scheduled to meet with Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, as well as other high-ranked Chinese officials.
To learn more about the Chinese economy, the NB8 parliamentarians plans to visit the southwestern province of Sichuan and meet with officials of this and other Chinese provinces. The parliament speakers are also expected to meet with young and innovative Chinese entrepreneurs.
The Saeima speaker also intends to visit the Latvian Embassy in Beijing.
The parliament speakers’ joint visit to China is coordinated by the Finnish parliament. In the past, similar joint visits have been organized to Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and the U.S.
The NB8 (Nordic–Baltic Eight) as an informal regional network comprising Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has been evolving since the Baltic States regained their independence. This format, although not institutionalized, effectively ensures opportunities for political dialogue and practical contacts.