Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze met with Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia Ralfs Nemiro during a working visit to Riga, Latvia. The meeting took place before the VІІ meeting of the Ukrainian-Latvian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, headed by Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze from the Ukrainian side and Ralfs Nemiro from Latvian side.
The Deputy Prime Minister commended the deepening of trade relations between Ukraine and Latvia: in 2018, the volume of Ukrainian-Latvian trade in goods and services increased by 18.5% and amounted to USD 549.7 million. However, the two countries have untapped potential in economic relations. "I look forward to providing new opportunities for Ukraine and Latvia through the Seventh Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation", said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, expressing her gratitude to the Government of Latvia for their assistance in hosting this meeting in Riga.
She stressed that the Ukrainian side expects to intensify practical cooperation between countries in the real sectors of the economy with an emphasis on the potential of such industries as agriculture, IT, transport and logistics. In particular, it concerns the transportation of goods by Ukraine to ports of Latvia and rail transit.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed she expects Ukrainian-Latvian cooperation in the field of launching startups and innovative technologies will yield tangible results. In 2018, a new vector of bilateral cooperation in the innovation sector with the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) was launched with the possibility of applying Latvian mechanisms for attracting external financing from EU funds for the implementation of startups and innovations. The resumption of the work of the LIAA in Ukraine can be beneficial for national investors, exporters and other enterprises, and will give impetus to the development of bilateral investment cooperation through the daily interaction between Ukrainian and Latvian businesses. This concerns the possibility of restoring the LIAA activities in Kyiv, which was suspended in 2016.
Ralfs Nemiro stressed that he shares the opinion about the list of priority cooperation areas. The Minister noted the growth of joint IT-projects and an increase in the number of tourists from Ukraine in Latvia and in the opposite direction. According to him, investments into the Latvian economy from Ukraine are increasing. Ukraine, by volume of investment in Latvia, is close to the USA and Switzerland. "Our economies are getting closer and more connected", the Minister said. He emphasized that Latvia seeks to resume the work of the LIAA in Kyiv.
In a bid to deepen economic cooperation between the countries, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze handed over to the Minister the list of state-owned Ukrainian companies subject to privatization for distribution among the Latvian business community.
She also invited the Minister of Economics and the Prime Minister of Latvia to visit Ukraine in the near future, and also expressed gratitude for the fact that the President of Latvia had already announced about the visit to Ukraine on May 20 for the inauguration ceremony for the newly elected Ukrainian President.
"The Government of Ukraine consistently adheres to the agenda for Ukraine's EU membership. It is extremely important that we have clear support by Latvia on this path", said the Deputy Prime Minister.
"Friendship and cooperation of our countries are of critical importance. We support Ukraine in the face of aggression of Russians and support reforms in Ukraine. It is crucial to extend our cooperation and exchange the experience", said Ralfs Nemiro.