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Sunday, 01.02.2015, 13:40
Latvia and India agree on double taxation avoidance agreement
|Edgars Rinkevics and Salman Khurshid. Photo: flickr.com|
The Latvian and Indian foreign ministers signed an agreement on the prevention of double taxation and tax evasion. The parties expressed confidence that the agreement will facilitate mutual economic cooperation by ensuring a more favorable environment for business activities. The foreign ministers also discussed bilateral relations, as well as international affairs, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry's press and information department.
The Latvian foreign minister informed his counterpart about the intention of opening a Latvian Embassy in New Delhi at the beginning of next year, which would strengthen Latvia’s presence in India and the contacts between both countries. In turn, the Indian foreign minister expressed satisfaction with the good relations between Latvia and India, which is reflected both by the establishment of a Latvian Embassy and the current visit of the Latvian foreign minister and a delegation of business representatives.
The head of India’s foreign service highly appreciated the visit to India by the Speaker of the Saeima Solvita Aboltina, which took place in October 2012, and voiced certainty that bilateral contacts at the highest level would also be continued in the future. The ministers took advantage of the meeting to discuss plans for cooperation in the field of higher education. Both parties were of the same mind that the exchange of students and academic staff would have a substantial role in strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
Rinkevics informed Kurshid about Latvia’s priorities for the Presidency of the EU Council in the first held of 2015, which include expanding cooperation with Central Asia. “India has an important role in the international efforts of stabilizing Afghanistan, and we hope that India would support the transformation of the so-called Northern Distribution Network into a commercially viable cargo transportation route, which would benefit not only Afghanistan, but also its neighboring countries in Central Asia. We hope for support from the Indian side on this issue,” said the Latvian foreign minister, who invited a representative from India to attend the third international transport seminar organized by the Latvian Foreign Ministry of Latvia next July. The Latvian foreign minister has also applied for participation at the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in New Delhi in early November this year.
Discussing prospects of EU-India relations, the Latvian foreign minister pointed out to Latvia’s interest in signing an EU-India free trade agreement without delay, which would be another important factor promoting mutual trade and economic cooperation.
Foreign Minister Rinkevics also met with the Minister of Culture of India Chandresh Kumari and talked about possibilities to introduce the residents of both countries to the art and cultural heritage of the other country. “The people of Latvia are connected to India by historical and emotional ties, rooted in research on the origins of the Baltic peoples. We should be able to make use of and expand that interest,” Rinkevics said. The Indian side stressed in particular that a Latvia-India cultural cooperation program should be renewed. Rinkevics briefed the Indian minister about Riga as the European Capital of Culture in 2014 and invited representatives from India’s cultural sector to take part in various events in 2014. It is known already that a dance group from India will perform at the Solstice Festival to be held in Latvia. The Center for Indian Studies and Culture opened at the University of Latvia this September, which will greatly contribute to India’s profile in Latvia.
At a meeting with the Minister of Communications and Information Technology of India Kapil Sibal, the foreign minister of Latvia confirmed interest and readiness to continue cooperation in the area of high technologies, where good contacts have been established.
At the International Relations Institute of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rinkevics delivered a lecture on EU-India cooperation prospects and answered to questions from the audience – also about the measures taken by the government of Latvia to overcome the financial crisis, the situation in Afghanistan and other current topics in international politics.
The foreign minister and the business delegation also had a meeting at the European Business and Technology Center in New Delhi, where a debate was held on business opportunities and challenges in India.
Furthermore, Foreign Minister Rinkevics and the official delegation visited the Memorial to Mahatma Ghandi, the leader of India’s independence movement, and paid homage to the memory of the prominent Indian public figure.