Latvia’s interests in trade with the USA, Ukraine and Belarus discussed with businesses and sectoral representatives

16.12.2016. 07:45

On 15 December, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a discussion organised by the Economic Relations, Trade and Development Cooperation Directorate on recent developments in international trade and investment protection, Latvia’s priorities concerning trade and the protection of our country’s interests in EU trade negotiations. The event gathered a large audience – businessmen and representatives from business associations, the non-governmental sector, public administration and other sectors.

Acting Head of the Economic Relations, Trade and Development Cooperation Directorate, Mārtiņš Kreitus, informed the participants on how the EU trade policy is formed and how representation of Latvia’s interests takes place, placing special focus on Latvia’s priorities in international trade.

The discussion also outlined recent developments in the World Trade Organisation, including negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Issues such as, for instance, agriculture and domestic support, and e-commerce will be of prime importance in 2017 in preparations for the WTO 11th Ministerial Conference at the end of the year.

The debate also provided an insight into EU trade, especially trade relationships with Canada, the United States of America, Japan, the Mercosur (Southern Common Market) countries – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela – and Ukraine. Views were shared on Latvia’s interests under future trade negotiations.

Other topics discussed were the protection of investments in EU bilateral trade agreements and the establishment of a multilateral investment system.

Special attention was given to EU trade relationship and Latvia’s interests in the context of trade with the USA and Ukraine, negotiations for the accession of Belarus to the WTO, and investment protection. The participants pointed out that a more active engagement of stakeholders is vital for the formulation of Latvia’s interests, and it would also be helpful to carry out comprehensive impact assessments in relation to the upcoming trade negotiations. 

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