On 31 January 2020 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Hiromasa Nakano, to discuss the political dialogue, business cooperation and cooperation in international organisations between the two countries.
Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed that for Latvia as a European Union Member State, Japan is a strategic cooperation partner and great importance is being attached to relations with Japan. For instance, Latvia was the first EU Member State to ratify the EU–Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
We see Japan as a like-minded partner in Asia, said the Latvian Foreign Minister, also expressing satisfaction with the intensive exchange of high-level visits over the recent years, especially following the visits by Prime Ministers. We hope the intensity of the exchanges will increase even further, he added.
The Minister welcomed the successful work together as part of the Japan-Baltic Cooperation Dialogue in the “3+1” format. Latvia welcomes the coming into force of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan, said the Minister. He noted that the agreement has not only a high economic value, but also high political value, with Japan and the EU both demonstrating their commitment to safeguard free and fair trade, and this has never been more important than it is today. Over the year since the agreement took effect, we have seen positive developments. Latvia’s exports to Japan have increased, and we would like to see broader cooperation in the logistics, transport, information technology and energy sectors, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.
During the conversation, the Foreign Minister said he was certain that the exchange of high-level visits with the accompanying business delegations would promote new business initiatives; therefore, Latvia was happy to host a visit from the delegation of KEIDANREN (Japanese Business Federation) in Riga.
The Minister confirmed that Latvia is interested in promoting cooperation between Latvia and Japan in tourism and he drew attention to the strong signal of the interest from Japanese tour operators sent by the visit of JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) to Latvia.
New technologies offer additional opportunities for the implementation of cross-sectoral projects. The specific and individual solutions offered by Tilde, a leading Latvian company in artificial intelligence is one such example, said Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs also expressed the conviction that the Nordic and Baltic region is one of the fastest-growing and competitive regions in Europe, now aspiring to become the best-integrated 5G region in the world.
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