The Latvian Foreign Minister invites India to open an embassy in Latvia

14.01.2020. 17:33

On 14 January 2020 in New Delhi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, for a discussion on the bilateral political dialogue, including economic and business cooperation and cooperation in international organisations, as well as on current international developments, including the state of affairs in the Middle East.

Edgars Rinkēvičs said he was pleased with the cooperation between Latvia and India and how it has become more intensive since the opening of a Latvian embassy in New Delhi in 2014, and he expressed hope that India could open its embassy in Riga in the near future. We would like to maintain the current high-level dialogue and exchange of visits, which is evidenced by the visit of the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, to Latvia last August, Edgars Rinkēvičs said, and he invited the External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India on a visit to Latvia.  

The Latvian Foreign Minister also drew attention to the steadily increasing number of students from India studying at institutions of higher education in Latvia: from 2018 to2019, 2,070 students were studying in Latvia, and this is 25% of all foreign students.

Minister Rinkēvičs noted that Latvia is interested in expanding cooperation with India in traditional areas such as transport and logistics, and education, while seeing considerable prospects for the information and communications (ICT) sector. Citing an example of what he meant, the Latvian Foreign Minister pointed to the successful fact-finding visit by one of the leading Latvian telecommunications operators, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, to New Delhi and Bengaluru in late 2019, where the company also took part in the India–Europe 29 Business Forum. Latvian companies are prepared to offer a broad range of ICT services and technological solutions. In the context of a successful launch of the 5G network in Latvia, we see countless cooperation opportunities on an international scale as well, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.

The Ministers discussed issues related to the EU-India free trade agreement, with Edgars Rinkēvičs voicing his hope concerning the intention to resume negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and India, which is an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive agreement. Such an agreement will also help to strengthen Latvia’s economic links with India, said the Minister, adding that improved rules of market access and rules for investment protection that would increase predictability of investments would create new opportunities for trade and business, and this would be a boon and great benefit for businesses and consumers in Latvia and India, the Latvian Foreign Minister asserted.

The officials discussed the EU’s future, including the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, the policy on climate, as well as developments in South Asia and Asia in general, including China.

At the start of his working visit to the Republic of India, on 13 January, Edgars Rinkēvičs laid flowers at the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial, gave interviews to a newspaper, The Hindu, and to CNN India, as well as making a presentation at a book launch by Professor Sadhana Naithani, Folklore in Baltic History. Resistance and Resurgence, at the Embassy of Latvia. On 14 January, the Latvian Foreign Minister met with the Latvian Honorary Consul in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to discuss the promotion of business cooperation between Latvia and the region.

 


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