On Wednesday, June 27, during their farewell visit to Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, the Ambassadors of Germany and Finland confirmed that the governments of Germany and Finland are informed about Latvia’s interests in the EU multiannual budget, as well as expressed support to Latvia’s endeavours to join the euro area in 2014.
During the discussion, the Prime Minister highlighted Latvia’s priorities in the new EU budget for 2014-2020 that will be one of the topics of discussion in the European Council on June 28-29. The Prime Minister emphasized that Latvia is dissatisfied with the current proposal of the European Commission regarding the cohesion policy and agriculture. Therefore, Latvia considers that it is necessary to retain the cohesion policy funding at least in the current amount, as well as to ensure more fair distribution of direct payments among the EU Member States.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Klaus Burkhardt, Ambassador of Germany and Maria Serenius, Ambassador of Finland for their contribution to strengthening the bilateral relations and stressed that both countries are important partners of Latvia. Latvia assigns great importance to strengthening the cooperation in the area of politics, economics, culture and other sectors. The Ambassador of Finland emphasized that she sees the potential for cooperation also in the area of improving the ecology of the Baltic Sea, as well as by continuing to develop the cooperation between both countries’ customs services and border guards.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude for the previous close cooperation, particularly in the area of education and culture, at the same time emphasizing that it is necessary to continue the cooperation in the area of trade and investments. He mentioned that Germany is one of the most important trade partners of Latvia and appreciated the positive attitude of German investors towards Latvia as the investment destination. According to the data of the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, 70% of the surveyed German investors would repeatedly make the choice to invest in Latvia.
There is great potential for cooperation with Finland. The relations of the two countries are very good and intensive. The Prime Minister said that currently the Latvian economics starts to recover – last year it returned to growth and it is planned to introduce the euro already in 2014. Investment is one of the most important factors to improve competitiveness. The Ambassador confirmed that the interest in both countries’ investments is growing.
Photos of the meeting with the Ambassador of Germany: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/sets/72157630308999344/
Photos of the meeting with the Ambassador of Finland: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/sets/72157630309343312/
Indicators of trade between Latvia and Germany:
In 2011, export volumes to Germany amounted to EUR 645.16 million that is by 20% more than in 2010, while the import volumes from Germany in 2011 amounted to EUR 1 123.03 million that is by 36% more than in 2010. The main export goods of Latvia are timber and its products (23.58%), metal and metal products (16.00%) and means of transport (9.80%). The import is dominated by the means of transport (27.86%), machinery and mechanisms, electric appliances (20.18%), plastic and plastic goods, rubber and rubber products (9.17%).
Currently, Germany is the sixth major investor according to direct foreign investments (LVL 321.8 million). The investments are made mainly in supply of electricity, gas and water (33%), operations with real estate (22%) and manufacturing industry (15%).
Indicators of trade between Latvia and Finland:
In 2011, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia and Finland amounted to EUR 695.7 million, ranking Finland the 7th among the foreign trade partners of Latvia. In 2011, the foreign trade turnover has increased by 22.8% or EUR 129 million as compared to 2010. The main export goods of Latvia to Finland from the total export in 2011: timber and its products (35.26%), metal and metal products (29.29%), mineral products (6.52%). The main goods imported from Finland to Latvia from the total import: mineral products (35.69%), machinery and mechanisms, electric appliances (21.34%), means of transport (8.46%).
At the end of 2011, direct investment of Finland amounted to LVL 274.6 million (28% of investment was made in the real estate sector, 23% - wholesale and retail sector, 23% - manufacturing industry).
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
Phone: +371 67082865 / +371 26556965
Information prepared by:
Consultant of the Communication Department State Chancellery
Phone: +371 67082922 +371 67082922