The annual meeting of Latvia’s Honorary Consuls in the United States and Mexico took place virtually on May 12. Ambassador Māris Selga and Embassy staff spoke about events from 2020 and set an agenda for 2021.
While noting that the Embassy and Honorary Consuls were able to successfully adapt to the circumstances created by the pandemic, the Ambassador urged Honorary Consuls to continue furthering networks between Latvian and American businesses in cooperation with the Embassy and Latvian institutions.
Erika Olson, Director for Northern European, Baltic, and Arctic Security Affairs at the U.S. Department of State gave a presentation on U.S. foreign policy. Meanwhile Ambassador Ilgvars Kļava, Director General of Bilateral Relations Directorate at Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke about Latvia’s foreign policy priorities, while Defence Attaché to the U.S. Major General Andis Dilāns gave an introduction about Latvia’s security and defence priorities.
A large part of the meeting focused on topics related to business and economy. Participants heard from Zigmārs Zilgalvis, Director of Foreign Trade and Foreign Economic Relations Promotion Department at Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kaspars Rožkalns, Director or Latvian Investment and Development Agency and Līva Stūrmane, Managing director of Latvian Exporters Association “The Red Jackets”. Representatives from the “Amber Beverage Group” spoke about their experience and future plans in the U.S.
Head of Consular division at the Embassy, Gundega Riekstiņa spoke about consular issues, particularly those related to the pandemic, and answered questions.
At the end of the meeting, Honorary Consuls were able to ask questions and have discussions in an informal setting.
Honorary Consuls are unpaid representatives of Latvia, and some fulfill limited consular functions. Latvia has 19 honorary consuls in the United States – in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Utah, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington State, as well as in Southern Californian and the City of New York. Latvia has one Honorary Consul in Mexico, Ms. Beatrise Āboltiņa-Trueblood.
More information about Latvia’s Honorary Consuls: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/vestniecibas-un-parstavniecibas#US