On Tuesday, 22 October, during their meeting in Erevan with Edward Nalbandian, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, the members of the delegation of the Saeima noted that Latvia and Armenia have a sound and constructive political dialogue, as well as active cooperation in several areas; however, there is a great untapped cooperation potential in economics, culture and education.
Deputy Speaker Andrejs Klementjevs said that common historical experience, mutual understanding and positive context of our bilateral relations open up broad opportunities for Latvia, as an EU member state, to share its reform experience with Armenia, and he declared that “we are open and ready to share our experience with politicians and experts on a broad spectrum of issues, including streamlining of the legislative process, management of the parliament, as well as informing and involving society”.
With regard to the European Union and its relations with Armenia, the delegation emphasised the significance of the Eastern Partnership in Latvia’s foreign policy in preparing for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Vilnius and the Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015.
Our country can serve as an excellent platform for Armenian entrepreneurs seeking investment and market expansion opportunities in the EU, noted the Saeima delegation. Participants of the meeting agreed that the Latvian-Armenian Intergovernmental Commission, which held its first meeting this summer, can be used as an efficient instrument in developing bilateral cooperation and deepening economic ties between both countries.
In recent years economic cooperation has grown; however, it is still not sufficiently intensive – last year the trade turnover slightly exceeded EUR 3 million, thus ranking Armenia in 87th place among Latvia’s trade partners. Latvia has a positive trade balance with Armenia - its exports exceed imports by EUR 1.33 million.
The delegation urged Armenia to benefit from Latvia’s geopolitical advantages, including the potential of Latvian ports in building trade relations with other EU member states.
From 21 to 25 October, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, is on a working visit to the Republic of Armenia. On her visit, the Deputy Speaker Lībiņa-Egnere is accompanied by Andrejs Klementjevs, her fellow Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, and Dana Reizniece-Ozola, member of the Legal Affairs Committee. During the visit, the delegation is meeting with Hovik Abrahamyan, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, as well as representatives of the group for interparliamentary cooperation with Latvia established in the Armenian parliament. It is also planned for the delegation to meet with His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Saeima Press Service