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Over 340 attend Latvian Economic and Innovation Forum

Jul 04, 2013

About 340 entrepreneurs, engineers, lawyers, scientists and other professionals of Latvian origin from 21 countries took part in the first World Latvian Economics and Innovation forum on July 2-4 in Riga. The largest delegation, made up of 65 people, was from the US.

The forum was launched by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis on July 2nd. A full day of sessions followed on July 3rd to discuss Latvia’s place in the global world, business and investment environment in Latvia, how to boost Latvia’s exports, innovations and investments particularly in technology and creative industries. Among speakers were Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevics; Minister of Economics Daniels Pavluts; President of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmars Rimsevics; Vice President of Procter & Gamble, Uldis Sipols; Supervisory Board member of Citadele Bank, Baiba Rubesa; Chairman of Global Leadership Forum, Siew Thiam Low and many others. In the evening, President of Latvia Andris Berzins hosted a reception for the forum participants.

During their visit, the delegation of US business representatives had chance to attend a briefing and networking event with US Ambassador Pekala, AmCham President Ivars Slokenbergs and representatives of the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia.

The program on July 4 included tailored meetings and site visits. 

Some of the main takeaways from the forum were:

  • More active information exchange and closer cooperation between Latvia’s business people and Latvian expatriates can facilitate economic development, create new businesses and help promote Latvia’s products abroad.
  • Those who leave Latvia for professional reasons reflect an opportunity for Latvia - not necessarily a problem - in helping strengthen the links and cooperation with their country of residence and Latvia.
  • Latvia is a small and open economy, hence it should be constantly looking at ways to acquire new markets and find distribution channels for its products.

The forum was hosted by the World Federation of Free Latvians, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to AmCham, it was supported by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, the Ministry of Culture, Riga Technical University and foundation Laimas Zeme.

The next forum is likely to be held not later than in the summer of 2018.

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