While on visit in Denmark, Foreign Minister Kristovskis highlights significance of closer economic co-operation

On 19 January, during his visit to Denmark, Foreign Minister of Latvia Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis met with his Danish colleague Lene Espersen. During their talks, the ministers discussed a wide range of foreign policy matters, including bilateral co-operation, the Baltic-Nordic co-operation, transatlantic issues, co-operation with Russia both at the bilateral level and in the context of the European Union. The Latvian Foreign minister emphasized that the strengthening of co-operation between the Baltic and Nordic countries is currently one of high priorities for Latvia. Both ministers shared the opinion that, during the year when the Baltic states mark the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic relations with the Nordic countries, it was vital to enhance co-operation and to achieve a higher public involvement.

Latvian and Danish Foreign Ministers launched a joint statement on the situation in Belarus and discussed the ways to strengthen the European Union's Eastern Partnership policy.

The ministers also reviewed the developments in Afghanistan concerning the commitment of further funds towards NATO ISAF forces that were discussed at the Lisbon Summit. It was emphasised that a stronger focus on civilian involvement of the countries was required for stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.

In his address to the participants of the discussion on energy security in the Baltic Sea Region organised by the Baltic Development Forum in Copenhagen (BDF), the minister presented the political and economic situation in Latvia and highlighted the decisive steps which Latvia had to make in order to implement the required reforms required for leading the country out of the crisis. At the same time, the speaker reiterated the government's pledge on continued structural reforms and financial consolidation in order to ensure sustainable and competitive environment for investments in Latvia. "The goal of the current economic policy is to improve the business and investment environment in Latvia," Foreign Minister emphasised and added that challenges in further economic recuperation of Latvia were sustaining social stability and reducing the shadow economies.

Minister Kristovskis invited representatives from Danish business community to get actively involved in the development of the energy sector in Latvia and the Baltic Sea Region, which would have a vital significance both for the revitalisation of Latvia's economy and for strengthening energy security. The parties discussed the possibilities of implementing the BEMIP projects, including the integration of the Baltic-Nordic energy networks, the building of interconnections and the prospective development of energy generation capacity. During the discussion, the Foreign Minister also expressed a proposal to hold one of the future Baltic Development Forum summits in Latvia, possibly, as early as in 2013. Taking part in the discussion were representatives from leading Danish energy companies and energy research institutions, as well as members of association operating in various economic sectors.
Baltic Development Forum is a platform for co-operation, which brings together large companies, major cities and business associations in the Baltic Sea Region. Baltic Development Forum works with a wide range of partners, including governments, businesses, leading research institutions and media. Annual summits of BDF are held since 1999. Riga hosted a BDF summit in 2003.

As part of the visit, the Foreign Minister also met with representatives from the Danish Export Council.

Foreign Minister Kristovskis will further go to Finland where he is to meet with the President of Finland Tarja Halonen, Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, and the Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, Pertti Saliolainen. The minister will also visit the MATKA 2011 Nordic Travel Fair in Helsinki and meet with representatives from the Finland Council of Commerce and Export Promotion.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
Press and Information Division

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