Latvia hopes for better collaboration with Azerbaijan
The Eastern European nation of Latvia intends to collaborate with Azerbaijan on several important land transport connections. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs said that cargo transport is a major part of the country’s economy, accounting for as much as 3% of the GDP. As a result, ‘Latvia is constantly working to upgrade its capacity and offer better services to our partners’, encouraged by the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy for improving transport networks.
In this sense, authorities in Latvia are interested in working together with Azerbaijan, to build strong connections between Europe and Asia, focusing on the Black Sea countries, Northern Europe and Central Asia.
‘As we see it, there are two important international transport corridors passing through Azerbaijan: the North-South International Corridor, eventually with a connection to the Baltic Sea region; and the Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA), which is a part of the New Silk Road and creates a strategic link between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea’, according to Rinkēvičs.
Both Latvia and Azerbaijan share common interests in the railway and port infrastructure and are able to benefit from this cooperation.
Furthermore, there are numerous companies from Latvia working in Azerbaijan in areas such as: transport and logistics, engineering, IT and telecommunications, architecture, tourism and education. The key strategy, the Minister believes, would be to invest in small- and medium-sized businesses.
Trade turnover between the two countries increased in the last few years, reaching 19.84 million EUR back in 2018.