On November 1, 2021 Latvia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Māris Selga participated in the official opening of Latvia’s Honorary Consulate in the state of Indiana. The Honorary Consulate’s inauguration ceremony, with remarks by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, took place in the Indiana Statehouse. In emphasizing Latvia’s interest in strengthening relations with Indiana, the Ambassador stressed the important role of Honorary Consul Andris Bērziņš. Andris Bērziņš is an active member of Indiana’s Latvian community and for many years was in charge of the Indianapolis Latvian center. Looking back into history, the Ambassador expressed gratitude to the people of Indiana for welcoming Latvians to their state during the years of Soviet occupation.
Prior to the inauguration ceremony, the Ambassador was welcomed to the Statehouse by Indiana Senator Erik Koch, who is of Latvian heritage. He also was introduced to Indiana’s Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush, who outlined the history, responsibilities and challenges of Indiana’s highest court.
During the meeting with Governor Holcomb and Indiana’s Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers, both sides expressed their commitment to strengthening cooperation, especially focusing on economic collaboration and the development of business contacts. Both sides exchanged invitations to upcoming global events - the Global Economic Summit taking place May 2022 in Indianapolis and the Three Seas Initiative Summit taking place June 2022 in Riga.
The Ambassador also met with representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to discuss further economic cooperation and the development of business contacts between Latvia’s and Indiana’s businesses. Contacts were also established with the non-profit organization “The International Center”.
In addition, the Ambassador met with Jim Brainard, mayor of Carmel, Indiana. The mayor highlighted the city’s accomplishments, which have led to Carmel’s nomination as one of the best and safest places to live in the United States. The mayor expressed interest in establishing a “Sister City” relationship with a corresponding Latvian city.
The work and contributions of Latvia’s honorary consuls is highly appreciated. The Embassy of Latvia in the U.S. is constantly working to strengthen and expand the network of honorary consuls in the U.S.