Kazakhstan and Latvia are interested in deepening trade and economic cooperation. Last year, trade turnover between the countries amounted to nearly US$100 million. The parties discussed possibilities of increasing these indicators at the business forum in Riga. Over 70 delegates of different industries attended the dialogue platform. According to the parties, the two countries have great trade and economic development potential.

VLADIMIR SAMOILENKO, SPOKESPERSON, LATVIAN INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY:

- Kazakhstan is a promising country and I know that there are few Latvian goods there and this is why our entrepreneurs need to actively use these opportunities. We have transportation and textile industries. We have people in IT, people who are engaged in packaging, metal structures, the Jelgava machine-building plant and the Ventspils seaport.

Riga and Almaty have strong friendship ties. The agreement between the cities on trade and economic as well as scientific and technical cooperation has been in force for nearly 20 years. Positive dynamics was observed in 2017.

GANIBET AUBAKIROV, DEPUTY HEAD, ALMATY ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEPARTMENT:

 - Cooperation between the two cities grew 10% as it did in 2016. This is a good result which means that interregional cooperation is effective. We are ready to expand cooperation and business activities since we are interested in the food industry and pharmacy which are necessary for Almaty.

A direct airline will be opened between Riga and Almaty in late April. This will give a powerful impetus to development of tourism and bilateral relations.

MAKSIM TOLSTOY, MEMBER OF RIGA CITY COUNCIL:

- We can fly to each other directly. In this regard, we will organize a tourist exhibition in Kazakhstan. As part of the first flight, we are planning a business forum and an official visit headed by the mayor of Riga to Almaty. As part of our anniversaries, particularly, the 100th anniversary of Latvia and the 20th anniversary of Astana, we should organize festive events as well as business meetings.

Kazakhstan is Latvia’s important economic and strategic partner in the Central Asian region. Latvia has approximately 200 enterprises with the Kazakh capital, whereas over fifty companies with the Latvian capital operate in Kazakhstan.

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