29 Jun 2012
On Sunday, July 1, representatives of Warner Bros, Procter&Gamble, Boeing etc., a total of 20 influential companies of the United States of America (USA) representing the IT, automotive, defence, aviation, construction and film industry as well as other sectors will arrive in Rīga with a view to familiarize themselves with Latvia as an attractive destination for entrepreneurship, as well as to discuss in presence the opportunities for business cooperation.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis mentions the positive cooperation between Latvia and the USA, that also in practice, is an important step towards the development of Latvian companies. “Fostering the economic relations of Latvia and the USA was the most important objective of my last year’s visit to the USA, during which a large delegation of Latvian entrepreneurs visited five U.S. cities. The forthcoming arrival of the U.S. entrepreneurs’ delegation is one of the practical results of this visit, which is indicative of serious interest of the U.S. companies in cooperation with Latvia that should be used to attract investments to manufacturing and export-driven projects which create new jobs”.
Within the framework of the U.S. entrepreneurs’ visit in Rīga, a seminar “U.S. – Latvian Business Cooperation Opportunities” will be organized, during which also the panel discussion “Doing Business in Latvia – the Perspective of Americans” will be held. During the discussion, the representatives of the U.S. business community in Latvia will introduce with the entrepreneurship environment in Latvia, logistics opportunities to Russia, northern Europe and Asia, as well as share the experience of cooperation with the Latvian IT sector.
Daniels Pavļuts, Minister for Economics mentions that disregarding the large geographic distance, the cooperation between Latvia and the USA has been very active and also successful. “Until recently, all over the world America was characterized as the country of great opportunities. This is undoubtedly so. However, no one can interdict Latvia from proving that we are also the country of opportunities. Moreover, we are well aware of these opportunities and we know how to use them! Cooperation with entrepreneurs from other countries and business organizations is an integral part of our daily business, making it possible not only to increase export but also, by attracting investment, to create new economic value here in Latvia”. D.Pavļuts emphasizes that the extensive visit of the U.S. entrepreneurs to Latvia is another step towards strengthening this successful cooperation and attracting new, qualitative investments to Latvia.
During the visit, also individual meetings of the U.S. businessmen and Latvian enterprises and industry associations are scheduled as well as meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador of the USA to Latvia and members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.
“Despite the global instability, Europe remains the largest economic partner of the USA in the world and Latvia as a Member State of the EU has many advantages to offer to the U.S. investors,”
says Ivars Slokenbergs, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia. As one of the competitive advantages he highlights access to the common EU market, as well as the opportunity to attract talanted, skilful and experienced labour force.
On July 1-3, a delegation of 20 U.S. entrepreneurs will arrive in Rīga. It is a return visit to the officials’ working visit to the USA last year. In July 2011, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis paid a visit to the USA, during which representatives of more than 40 Latvian companies had the opportunity to meet the potential cooperation partners. In spring 2012, Daniels Pavļuts, Minister for Economics and several entrepreneurs paid a visit to the USA. Within the framework of the visit, high-level meetings with U.S. officials and entrepreneurs were held.
The visit is organized by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia in cooperation with the State Chancellery, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Embassy of Latvia to the USA, embassy of the USA to Latvia, American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia and Honorary Consuls of Latvia to the USA.
Economic cooperation between Latvia and the USA:
In 2011, the USA was the 17th major partner of Latvia in export of goods and the 24th largest partner in import of goods. Latvia’s export of goods to the USA amounted to LVL 72 million (USD 142.5 million), increase by 9% as compared to 2010, but the import of goods amounted to LVL 54.4 million (USD 107.6 million) which increased by 62% compared to the previous year. In 2011, the export of goods to the USA amounted to 1.2% of total export of Latvian goods, while import – 0.7% of total import of goods. (In Q 1, 2012, the USA was the 19th major partner of Latvia in export of goods and the 21st major partner in import of goods.) The main export goods to the USA are machinery and mechanisms; electrical appliances and food products. From the USA mostly machinery and mechanisms as well as electrical appliances are imported.
According to the statistical data of the Bank of Latvia, at the end of Q 1, 2012, the accumulated direct investments of the USA in Latvia amounted to LVL 183.9 million (USD 348.6 million), ranking the USA the 10th in the list of foreign trade partners. The main sectors were the U.S. investments have been accumulated – operations with the real estate, manufacturing industry and trade.