On Tuesday, 6 March, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, during her official visit to Japan met with Yukio Edano, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and emphasised that active and close political cooperation between Latvia and Japan is a solid basis for bilateral economic collaboration which has great untapped potential.
“During recent years, political dialogue between Latvia and Japan can be characterised by active exchange of visits, including parliamentary visits. Latvia is interested in taking advantage of this favourable political background for increasing economic cooperation between both countries,” said Āboltiņa during meeting with the Minster for Economy, Trade and Industry.
The Speaker emphasized that Latvia is open to Japanese investments, especially in spheres with high added value. Among the areas with the greatest potential she named transport and logistics, information technologies, pharmaceutics, wood processing, fashion, design, and tourism.
Although Latvia was one of the countries which was hit hard by the economic crisis, it made cuts in its budget expenditures and implemented structural reforms in due time, stressed Āboltiņa. “Latvia’s macroeconomic indicators are steadily improving, and currently our experience serves as an example to other European countries of how to overcome the crisis.”
“Latvia has once again become attractive for foreign investors because of its considerable advantages: it has a favourable geographical location, as an EU and NATO member state it is a secure place for investments, and it offers competitive transit routes and a highly qualified labour force,” said the Speaker.
Japan is 31st in the list of Latvia’s major trade partners; last year the bilateral trade turnover exceeded EUR 50 million – an increase of 26% over the previous year.
Latvia has a positive trade balance with Japan because from the total trade turnover, Latvia’s exports to Japan amount to EUR 34.9 million. Latvia exports to Japan mainly timber and its by-products, mineral products and chemicals. Products that Latvia imports from Japan include means of transport, electrical appliances, optical devices and equipment, as well as diverse plastic products.
On 3 to 9 March, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, is on an official visit to Japan on the invitation by Kenji Hirata, President of the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan. During the visit, Āboltiņa is meeting with His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito; Kenji Hirata, President of the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan; Takahiro Yokomichi, President of the House of Representatives of the National Diet of Japan; Yukio Edano, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; as well as members of the Japan - Latvia friendship association.
Saeima Press Service