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PMs agree to develop the economic cooperation between Latvia and Japan

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 11.04.2013.Print version
On April 10, within the framework of the working visit, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis held a meeting with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The main topics of the visit – support to the Latvian entrepreneurs' cooperation with Japan, Latvia – Japan relations within the EU framework, as well as the support to Latvia's candidacy for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), informed BC press secretary to the Prime Minister Mārtiņš Panke.

Valdis Dombrovskis and Shinzo Abe. Tokyo, 10.04.2013. Photo:

The Prime Minister and Prime Minister of Japan S.Abe discussed the current developments in bilateral relations and Japan – EU relations, as well as the situation in East Asia. The Japanese Prime Minister appreciated Latvia's achievements in overcoming the economic crisis and informed about the steps that the Japanese government is taking to achieve economic growth. Both sides assessed the bilateral relations as very good, however, at the same time expressed desire to strengthen the economic relations.


V.Dombrovskis stressed Latvia's willingness and readiness to join the OECD, in view of Japan's crucial role in this organization. The two sides expressed the view that the economic relations are important for both Latvia-Japan and Japan-EU bilateral relations. V.Dombrovskis expressed his support for a rapid conclusion of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The negotiations on the agreement will begin soon. 


Prime Minister S.Abe expressed his concern about the tense situation in East Asia, particularly about the provocative steps of North Korea. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis joined these concerns, expressing the view that any issues should be addressed through negotiations, basing on international law.


During the visit, V.Dombrovskis introduced the Japanese business leaders and economic experts with the opportunities of the Latvian entrepreneurs, incl., Latvia's advantages in the area of logistics and transit. The Japanese entrepreneurs acknowledged that the strengthening of contacts in the area of tourism and promotion of Latvia's advantages in Japan play key role in developing the economic projects. This could increase the number of tourists from Japan, establish regular charter flights and develop air traffic. The Japanese entrepreneurs emphasized that it is important to present all the Baltic countries in tourism through joint projects and tourism routes.


The Prime Minister met Hideto Nahakara, Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation, Koji Tanaka, Vice President of Hitachi Corporation, Yoji Ohashi, Chairman of the Board of All Nippon Airways and Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines, Eizo Kobayashi, Chairman of the Board of Itochu Corporation and Members of the Board of Panasonic.


The Prime Minister had meetings with the World Presidents Organization, the Association of Japan Corporate Executives, the Japan External Trade Organization and the largest Japanese companies in the International Friendship Exchange Council.


During his visit to Japan, the Prime Minister is accompanied by the Latvian business delegation representing the food industry, natural fibres, agriculture, industrial equipment manufacturing, consulting and financial sector, transportation and logistics, which are represented by the Riga Freeport Authority, the Ventspils Freeport and the Liepaja Special Economic Zone Authority.


During discussions with officials and experts, the Prime Minister stressed that Latvia sees the growing importance of the Pacific region in international politics, where the preparation of the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement plays a significant role, and Latvia supports the EU-Japan negotiations on the issue.


V.Dombrovskis held a meeting with Akihiro Ohta, Minister of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Hirofumi Nakasone, Head of Japan-Latvia Parliamentary Friendship Association. The Prime Minister outlined the priorities of the government and called for support to Latvia's objective to join the OECD. He extended an invitation to Japanese officials to visit Latvia. H.Nakasone plans his visit this summer.


The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction over cooperation between Latvia and Japan in educational and cultural projects, particularly emphasizing the participation of Japanese choirs in the Song Festival and the Latvian language training projects.


V.Dombrovskis highly appreciated the Japan's achievements in the earthquake relief in March 2011, and at the same time confirmed the support provided by Latvia for this purpose. After the disaster, the Latvian government agreed on readiness to provide the necessary support for Japan's disaster relief. Also the Latvian entrepreneurs and individuals showed interest in providing assistance. Donations were collected in the office of the Latvian Red Cross, while the Cabinet of Ministers approved LVL 100 000 assistance to Japan. The funds were transferred to the Japanese Red Cross.


On Thursday, April 11, the Prime Minister will meet the management of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. V.Dombrovskis will also have an interview with Kyodo News.


The Prime Minister will return to Latvia on April 12.

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