AmCham is a great place for networking, exchanging ideas and generating new business directions.
Peteris Kokovkins, Director of Baltic Technology Group
Keynote speakers included Paul Poletes, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Latvia; Eriks Eglītis, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics, Andris Vanags, Board Member of LCCI, Mikus Kins, President of LACC and Arnis Kakulis, President of AmCham Latvia.
AmCham president Arnis Kakulis started off by saying: "For over the past few years, AmCham has been particularly devoted as part of the process to expand specifically bilateral trade between the US and Latvia. Specifically, also by fostering export from here to the US and to do so advocating for state support, ensuring valuable contacts, and organizing seminars about this important market."
Paul Poletes, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Latvia summarized his view on the event: "With this event, one of our top priorities is to strengthen ties between the United States and Latvia and to sign this agreement between the three chambers and the two groups to be able to go a long way of strengthening those ties."
Eriks Eglitis, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics added: "We definitely need Latvian products and services going to the US, and we definitely need the competence, access to the market, services, and products from the U.S. coming this way."
Andris Vanags, Board Member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry expanded on the benefits of this partnership: "If from my business side, let's say it's the same energy to export to Lithuania or Estonia than to export to the States. Why not? Already more than 130 of our members do export to the States, mostly machinery, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. If you want to export to the States, you can try, but it's very complicated. We cannot do this alone. We need to help each other."
Mikus Kins, president of Latvian Chamber of Commerce shared his insights about LatCham contributing to this event's mission and goal: "In the United States, the Latvian community has historically formed many excellent organizations across the country that focus on preserving our culture, promoting education, our heritage and religion. However, we are the first dedicated organization that has been formed exclusively to promote business. Our goal is to promote the Latvian business both inbound, outbound and across the United States and the world."
Arnis Kakulis remarked: "We are delighted to expand our partnership to include LACC, thus broadening the benefits of this program, adding more contacts to the existing network and providing more opportunities for businesses both in Latvia and the United States to grow and foster."
Statistical data on bilateral trade indicate that only 2,7% of all Latvian exports reach the USA, Latvian exports of goods and services have remarkably increased by 52% more than last year. The U.S. ranks as the 13th largest investor in Latvia with over EUR 153M accumulated FDI in the share capital of companies, while Latvian FDI in the U.S. increased by 90% in 2017.
Since the beginning of 2016, AmCham Latvia and LCCI have been working to create and implement the Gateway to the USA program, a joint business network platform aimed at developing and expanding connections between businesses in Latvia and business representatives in the U.S. This program is tailored to the needs of individual companies, members of AmCham and LCCI. Since then five joint seminars on the U.S. market have been held, in addition to such conferences as "Spotlight Latvia" in Chicago last October and "U.S.-Baltic Business Summit" in Washington D.C. this April.
The reception was supported by our member Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga.
AmCham is a place to meet representatives of other industries and understand the business environment.
Signe Velina, Market Access Manager Latvia of Johnson & Johnson