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Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris
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Ambassador: we are beneficial to the Chinese, but we can be even better

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn 5 November, Latvia will not only be the host for the 16+1 format, but also the destination for the first official visit by the Chinese prime minister, said Latvia’s ambassador in China Maris Selga.

It will be an opportunity for officials from Latvia and other countries to meet with the Chinese prime minister. It will also be an opportunity to address our economic matters. How well we present our interests is up to us alone, the ambassador said in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

«The government and municipalities have done a lot of work not just for the sake of the summit but also the state of cooperation with China. An enormous amount of work has been done, many agreements have been prepared. In regards to 16+1, we are interested the most in transports and logistics. The first meeting of 16+1 transport ministers was held in Riga in May. We have more to present, but it does not mean the prime minister will arrive and settle everything in one go,» – said Selga.

Commenting on the news that Lithuania has already signed multiple agreements with China, Selga said each country can form its relations with China and any other country the way they see fit. The fact that Lithuania has signed an agreement with China in relation to Klaipeda port does not reduce our [Latvia’s] chances, he said. The New Silk Road should be viewed in a broader context – it also involves human relations, contacts, etc.

The ambassador believes China is interested in diversifying its transit to other countries, and Latvia has all the options to develop its cooperation with this country. Estonia is also interested in doing business with China. It feels like their approach is that all countries are equal and success depends on their own efforts, said the ambassador.

When asked what Latvia has to offer China to be more interesting than Estonia and Lithuania, the ambassador noted that Latvia has excellent railway connectivity. From China’s perspective, Latvia can be reached through Kazakhstan and Russia, directly through Russia or through Russia and Belarus. «We are beneficial to them, but we should try even harder to sell – we can always do better,» – said the ambassador.

He added that the Chinese are prepared to invest in fields like transit and logistics in Latvia. «There are also fields in which we look toward China. Food Union, for example, has launched the construction of a production plant in China in hopes of producing dairy products there using Latvian raw materials. Of course, our country’s economy is small, but we can work on production of niche products,» – said the ambassador.

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