On February 1, Latvian Honorary Consuls in the United States gathered at the Embassy for their annual meeting. Ambassador Andris Teikmanis and Embassy staff informed about events from 2018 and set the future agenda.
Surely, the politically the most notable event was the April 3rd Baltic-United States Presidents’ summit at the White House, during which a high-level business summit was also organized. Last year dozens of Latvian events in the U.S. were in relation to the centennial of Latvia. The most noticed event was the illumination of the Niagara Falls in the colors of the Latvian flag. Therefore, Ambassador Teikmanis presented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia certificate of merit to an American Latvian Ms Sandija Bayot who worked tirelessly for this beautiful gift to happen. The Ambassador also thanked Honorary Consul Mr Kārlis Steinmanis (Ohio) who coordinated the honorary consuls’s gift to the Embassy – three original tapestries by Egils Rozenbergs. His artwork will soon be on permanent display at the Embassy.
The Ambassador urged the honorary consuls to continue their efforts in developing Latvian and American business contacts. The working lunch was also devoted to discussions about economic topics with a Mr. Juris Štālmeistars, Director of the Economic relations, Trade and Development Cooperation Directorate from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives from four successful Latvian companies “Latvijas Finieris”, “SAF Tehnika, “Vizulo” and “GroGlass” shared their experiences during the meeting.
The leader of the American Latvian Association Mr Pēteris Blumbergs presented the Latvian diaspora efforts in standing up for Latvian interests with their elected representatives and also in celebrating Latvia’s centennial with their American friends.
The honorary consuls were also able to talk informally with the representatives of the U.S. State Department during the concluding reception.
Honorary Consuls are unpaid representatives of Latvia, and some fulfill limited consular functions. Latvia has 20 honorary consuls in the United States – in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Utah, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington State, as well as in Northern California, Southern Californian and the City of New York.
More information about Honorary Consuls: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/vestniecibas-un-parstavniecibas#US