Prime Minister Evika Siliņa met with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Peter Orpo as well as Finnish investors, within the framework of her working visit to Finland. During the visit, the officials discussed further economic cooperation between the countries and companies, and agreed on the need to continue to enhance security and development of the military industry, as well as addressed other issues.
Latvia and Finland enjoy excellent bilateral relations, and Finland is a very good partner and ally also in the European Union and NATO, emphasizes E. Siliņa, by pointing out that Latvia aims at further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. During the meeting with the Head of Government of Finland P. Orpo, the Prime Minister emphasised that Latvia and Finland can increase trade and investment in a number of sectors.
“Finland is already a significant partner for Latvia in the area of trade and investment. It was therefore very important that we met both the companies that have already invested in Latvia and those that are considering investing in our country. Latvia and Finland, as geographically close, like-minded European Union and NATO countries, have excellent potential to continue mutually beneficial and friendly relations, including cooperation in the field of military industry, while strengthening their security and increasing economic activity,” stressed the Prime Minister.
Negotiations were held with entrepreneurs representing the energy, mechanical engineering, wood industry, finance, construction, defence, and other sectors. The meeting was also held with ‘Nammo’ - one of the largest companies of Finland’s defence industry, to address the cooperation for the development of ammunition production capacity in Latvia. The Prime Minister informed of the establishment of the Latvian company ‘State Defence Corporation’ aimed at contributing to the expansion of the defence industry in Latvia and the attraction of international partners.
Finland’s investment in Latvia amounted to EUR 429 million in 2022, and the upward trend continues. The Latvian airline’s airBaltic base in Tampere (Finland) also strengthens the connectivity and economic relations between Latvia and Finland.
The Prime Minister and senior officials of Finland voiced cooperation in the fields of economics, defence, promotion of regional security, including border security and protection of critical infrastructure.
During the meeting with the President and Prime Minister of Finland, E. Siliņa expressed solidarity with Finland on the hybrid threat on Finland’s border with Russia. The Prime Minister regretted the fact that Russia and Belarus continue to use migration as a hybrid threat weapon in attempt to destabilise the neighbouring countries. Latvia is ready to coordinate action, exchange information and experience relating to this issue.
The officials also gave due consideration to cooperation within NATO and the need to further support Ukraine for as long as necessary. The representatives of the countries shared the vision that Sweden should become a member of NATO before the Washington Summit. E. Siliņa expressed gratitude for Finland’s decision to support Latvia’s candidacy for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
The Prime Minister also met with the local Latvian community and visited the European Centre of Excellence for Combating Hybrid Threats, within the framework of her visit.