On 7 May, the Embassy of Latvia team and Latvia’s Honorary Consuls in the United Kingdom met remotely for the annual meeting. During the opening, Ambassador of Latvia to the UK Ivita Burmistre presented the Embassy’s priorities: strengthening of bilateral cooperation in foreign, defence and security affairs, deepening of economic ties, and support to the Latvian community. The Ambassador noted the importance of Latvian and British cooperation in global matters such as economic recovery, addressing of climate change, gender equality and digitalization.
Ambassador Burmistre provided an update on Latvia’s political and economic developments and noted that this is a special year in our bilateral relations as we celebrate the centenary of Latvia’s international recognition de iure and the establishment of Latvia-UK diplomatic relations.
“We greatly appreciate the significant contribution of Latvia’s Honorary Consuls in the UK in strengthening of bilateral ties, as well as their active work in promoting business, education, creative and other industries’ contacts between Latvia and the UK,” said the Ambassador.
The Honorary Consuls received defence matters updates and heard about the most notable projects in this area – such as Latvia’s participation in the Joint Expeditionary Force and the procurement of CVR(T) vehicles. The UK defence forces presence and contribution to the strengthening of Latvia’s and the overall Baltic region’s security was especially noted.
Participants of the meeting also learned about the latest in economic cooperation and in the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, as well as preparations for the COP26 climate change conference to take place in Glasgow later this year.
Furthermore, there was an exchange about the Latvian nationals living in the UK and their rights, as well consular services provided by the Embassy. The Embassy presented some of the plans for public diplomacy activities and the substantial Latvian state grant and support programmes offered to diaspora organizations and schools.
The Honorary Consuls presented their activities in 2020 that took place despite the difficulties of the pandemic and sketched out plans for the current year. The emphasis of their work has largely been on economic matters and promotion of business contacts. In attendance were Honorary Consuls Ms Karen Tracey from West England, Mr David Kaye from Glasgow, Sir Mark Boleat from Hertfordshire and Mr Christopher James Kenmore from Scotland.
Latvia’s Honorary Consuls apply their extensive professional experience and knowledge to promote business contacts, assist with official visits, stay in touch with diaspora organizations and individuals, as well as to contribute significantly to the promotion of Latvia in the regions of the UK.
There are seven Latvia’s Honorary Consuls in the UK.