Promotion of trade and investment is one of the key priorities for cooperation between Latvia and Belgium. On Friday, January 13, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and Ambassador of Belgium to Latvia Frank Arnauts were of the same opinion about it.
During the introductory visit, the Ambassador congratulated V.Dombrovskis on the occasion of conclusion of the international loan program and success in overcoming the financial crisis. He stated that Belgium is already actively investing in projects in Latvia and is interested in developing this cooperation. At the same time, the Ambassador emphasized that one of the investors’ preconditions is a stable business and investment environment.
The Prime Minister stressed that according to the data by the World Bank Doing Business 2012, in 2011 Latvia ranked among those 10 countries where the implemented reforms have most substantially improved business environment, incl., by improving the regulatory framework.
As to Latvia’s priorities in the EU context, the Prime Minister highlighted the interests of Latvia with respect to planning of the next financial framework of the EU in the area of cohesion and developing fairer Common Agricultural Policy. He stressed that the European regions with lower income should not have less funding available than more developed regions, and that it is necessary to set at least 80% or about EUR 214 minimum level of the EU average for direct payments.
The parties confirmed their readiness to continue cooperation in the areas, which are significant for both countries.
Photos of the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/sets/72157628849787375/
Indicators of trade between Latvia and Belgium:
In Q1-Q3, 2011, the trade turnover of Latvia and Belgium amounted to EUR 209.12 million, ranking Belgium the 16th among the foreign trade partners of Latvia. Compared to respective period in 2010, the trade turnover of Latvia and Belgium has increased by 38.53% or EUR 58.16 million, incl., exports increase by 7.21%, while imports - by 59.07%.
The main export goods of Latvia in the above-mentioned period are timber and timber products, metals and metal products, means of transport. The import is dominated by chemical industry and allied products, plastic products, rubber and rubber products, machinery and mechanical appliances and electrical equipment.
Currently, there are 119 Latvia – Belgium joint-ventures. Belgium has invested LVL 7 million in the fixed capital of the Latvian companies.
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Information prepared by:
Consultant of the Communication Department
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