Sultan Al Mansouri holds bilateral meetings with Latvian ministers on first stop of Baltic tour

02 May 2018

Sultan Al Mansouri holds bilateral meetings with Latvian ministers on first stop of Baltic tour

RIGA, 2nd May, 2018 (WAM) -- Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, began his tour of the Baltic region heading a senior economic delegation, in a visit that will continue until 5th May and include Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The tour includes several bilateral meetings with heads of governments, senior officials and those concerned with economic and trade issues, to discuss economic cooperation, future development, and the opportunities for economic partnerships on government and private levels, which will serve the development goals of all parties.

The UAE delegation included Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Saleh Al Hammadi, Director of the National Tourism Programme at the Ministry, and several experts and advisors.

Hanan Khalfan Obaid Al Alili, UAE Ambassador to Latvia, Sultan Rashid Sultan Al Kaitoob Al Nuaimi, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Estonia, and Dr. Youssef Issa Hassan Al Sabri, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Lithuania, are also participating in the meetings.

In the Latvian capital, Riga, the first stop of the delegation’s visit to the Baltic countries, Al Mansouri held expanded bilateral meetings with senior government officials of the Latvia’s Government, which included Maris Kucinskis, Prime Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevics, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, and other ministers. The visit also included a tour of the National Library of Latvia, which is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

Al Mansouri’s bilateral meeting with Kucinskis addressed the importance of strengthening the economic relations between their countries.

The meeting also highlighted the importance of Latvia’s participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai, which will promote Latvian investments and strengthen their presence in economic markets in the UAE and other countries in the region.

Al Mansouri and Kucinskis affirmed the strong relations between their countries and highlighted their promising future growth opportunities, in light of their mutual desire to promote joint cooperation, whether through high-level visits or the signing of key cooperation agreements, which will pave the way for promising economic and investment partnerships.

"By looking at the commercial and tourism exchange between our countries, we see that they have achieved noticeable growth during the few past years. However, it is still less than the true potential of our countries, as the value of the non-oil commercial exchange between the UAE and Latvia registered a noticeable increase in 2017, totalling US$58 million, compared to around $43 million in 2016. The number of tourists from Latvia to the UAE also registered a growth of around 40 percent in 2017, totalling 11,800, compared to around 8,500 in 2016," Al Mansouri added.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the signing of the economic cooperation agreement by both countries last February represented a pivotal step in pushing joint cooperation efforts, according to which a joint economic committee has been established.

Maris Kucinskis, Prime Minister of Latvia, said that both countries enjoy strong bilateral relations, based on friendship and respect of mutual interests. He praised the UAE’s initiative in opening its first embassy in Riga, Latvia’s capital, saying it reflects the strength of the bilateral relations and the desire to expand the prospects of joint cooperation in the future.

He noted that Latvia considers the UAE as its main partner in the region and looks forward to developing the prospects of economic and trade cooperation in the future to maintain the strength of the bilateral relations. He stressed Latvia’s efforts to attract UAE investments in many vital sectors, notably renewable energy, infrastructure, and transport and logistics services.

During their meeting, the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia stressed the importance of strengthening ties of bilateral cooperation while addressing the available partnership opportunities between both countries.