Beside direct support for companies, an important part of foreign service activities is the creation of favourable business environment for successful international cooperation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organises official visits at various levels and represents Latvia's position on international cooperation matters. Embassies assisting with the establishment of the bilateral legal framework, working towards the signing various agreements, for instance, intergovernmental and interministerial agreements on economic cooperation, agreements on investment protection, prevention of double taxation, cooperation in air traffic, road transport etc.
By means of political lobbying, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to reduce obstacles to export and promote the flow of incoming investment. The embassies are working to build the image of Latvia as a country attractive for businesses, explain the issues of Latvia's economic policy, and promote political and economic cooperation. The Foreign Ministry deals with problematic situations through offering support for overcoming of administrative hurdles and protectionism, provides advice on the business profile of a certain country, and possibilities for resolving business conflicts.
Latvia's diplomatic service at home and embassies abroad facilitate business contacts of Latvian companies by helping them with participation at international business fairs, and organizing seminars and individual business trips for companies.
Support from embassies and honorary consuls for setting up and successful development of international scale business contacts:
- information on the market and business practices in the country of residence, support for building contacts (with public authorities, sectoral associations, "business clubs");
- assistance in organizing individual visits for companies, trade missions, and business delegations accompany high ranking officials on their visits;
- support for marketing activities (hosting seminars, presentations and business talks on the embassy premises);
- support for participation in business fairs (recommendations, compiling information, assistance with representation);
- support for the protection of interests of Latvia's business people in the cases of partner insolvency or fraudulent activities by way of providing information on administrative procedures, clarifying circumstances and helping to get in contact with authorities.
The network of diplomatic missions is especially important due to its high status in the countries of their residence and accreditation: the status of diplomatic representatives and their network of contacts allow them not only to obtain up-to-date information on the processes in foreign countries but also seek to influence those for the benefit of Latvia's interests.
The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) also operates 14 representative offices abroad, in most cases accommodated on embassy premises. LIAA representatives offer support at the company level – to Latvian exporters and foreign investors – by organizing meetings and marketing events, spreading information, offering advice, etc.
Click here for contacts of LIAA representative offices abroad.