On Friday, September 16, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis held a meeting with Prime Minister of Poland - the presiding country of the EU, Donald Tusk who has arrived to Latvia to participate in the Rīga Conference. During the meeting, both sides expressed satisfaction with good bilateral relations within the framework of which also more rapid extension of economic contacts between the two countries could be observed during the last year. The Prime Minister of Latvia called on D.Tusk to defend Latvia’s interests regarding planning of the EU’s next financial perspective in the area of cohesion during the Poland’s presidency and in developing a fairer common agricultural policy.
The Prime Minister of Latvia said that Latvia pays a special attention to two key priorities in negotiations on the EU’s multi-annual budget for 2014-2020: the provision of sufficiently large cohesion funding and equal conditions of competition for Latvian farmers in the European common market.
During the conversation V.Dombrovskis expressed regret for the European Commission’s return to the idea proposed in the previous financial perspective – to set equal ceiling for funding that the Member States may receive from the EU funds, furthermore reduced funding - 2.5% of GDP. By implementing such an approach, the European regions with lower income would have access to less funding than richer regions. However, in order Latvia could sooner reach the average level of development of the EU and create favourable conditions for more rapid growth of the Latvian economy, it is necessary to ensure that the cohesion funding is not reduced- currently it is 3.7% of GDP.
The European Commission came up with its proposals for the EU’s multi-annual budget on June 29, 2011. The first discussions among the Member States of the European Union on the budget proposal were held at the end of July this year and provided an opportunity to exchange initial positions.
Evaluation of the EC proposals will continue till the end of the year. Negotiations will continue during the whole year 2012 but it is planned that the final agreement between the European Parliament and the Member States on the actual budget framework will be reached at the end of 2012 or at the beginning of 2013.
During the meeting, V. Dombrovskis informed about current developments in the area of energy in the Baltic countries, providing the reasons why the establishment of a regional gas terminal is the best solution to improve energy supply in the Baltic countries and that Latvia is a better place for terminal development.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister of Latvia presented the most voluminous scientifically elaborated Latvian-Polish Dictionary to D.Tusk. The dictionary was developed by the team of authors under the guidance of Alberts Sarkanis, former Ambassador of Latvia to Poland.
Economic cooperation between Latvia and Poland
In the first half of 2011, Poland was Latvia’s 6th largest export and 4th largest import partner right after Lithuania, Germany and Russia. The main export goods from Latvia to Poland are metals, metal products and mineral products while the main imports from Poland are cars, devices, chemical products and food products. In the field of Latvia’s service export, which mainly consists of shipments, tourism and other economic operations, in 2010 Poland was Latvia’s 18th largest service export and 11th largest service import partner.
According to the statistics of the Bank of Latvia, Poland’s accumulated direct investments in Latvia by the end of the first half of 2011 amounted to LVL 4.5 million and ranked Poland 38th in the list of foreign investors. By the end of the first half of 2011, investments were accumulated in wholesale and retailing, in manufacturing industry and operations with real estate. Latvia’s accumulated capital investments in Poland at the end of the first half of 2011 were LVL 22.3 million or 97% invested in trade, financial intermediation and manufacturing industry.
By investments in fixed capital of companies registered in Latvia Poland ranks 48th with total investments of LVL 2.2 million and 163 operating companies. The Largest Poland’s investors are Pricewaterhouse Coopers Sp.z.o.o. with investments in company Pricewaterhouse Coopers Ltd. and Balex Metal Sp.z.o.o. (Balex Metal Ltd).
CV of the Prime Minister of Poland
Photo of the meeting (here).
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