President of Latvia Egils Levits has met today with Azerbaijani and Latvian businessmen, APA reports.
President of Latvia said that he was sure that the event would contribute to the development of relations between the two countries. He said that Latvia was a member of NATO and the European Union and viewed Azerbaijan as a close partner in economic relations. President Egils Levits noted that Azerbaijan was playing an active role in the European energy market and had a special place in the diversification of energy sources.
Emphasizing the existence of close bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia, President Egils Levits said that economic relations were developing and that there was hope that they would expand even further. He added that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed between the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO).
Stating that Azerbaijan was Latvia's main trade partner, the President of Latvia drew attention to the fact that the time had come to restore the supply chains disrupted as a result of the closure of borders in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Director of AZPROMO, Yusif Abdullayev, said in his speech that 16 Latvian companies were operating in Azerbaijan. Most of these companies are engaged in the field of transportation. According to Yusif Abdullayev, Azerbaijan has also invested in Latvia. This investment amounts to a total of 166 million dollars. He added that Latvian companies could also invest in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.
Yusif Abdullayev said that the volume of trade between Azerbaijan and Latvia had increased by more than 70 percent in 2022, amounting to 46 million dollars. Exports to Latvia have increased almost three times to reach 28 million dollars. The non-oil sector accounts for 98 percent of exports to Latvia. This means that Latvia is an important country in North-Eastern Europe in terms of exporting Azerbaijan’s non-oil products.
Chairman of the Board of the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (KOBIA), Orkhan Mammadov, spoke about state support for medium and small entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan. He positively assessed the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries.
Director General of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Kaspars Rozkalns, noted that Latvia and Azerbaijan could establish joint production of competitive products, and it would be easy to export these products to European markets. He stressed that Latvian companies wanted to cooperate with Azerbaijan on joint production in order to deliver their products to the European market in the future. There are five priority areas in this regard.
The meeting continued with further discussions.