Central Asian republics and the Baltic states are expanding areas of cooperation. During a trade mission in Riga, the parties signed agreements worth more than US$120 million. According to the businessmen, this will give a powerful impetus to development of trade turnover between the five Central Asian republics and Europe, where the products of domestic manufacturers will be widely represented. 

ASKAR ARYNOV, SPOKESPERSON, KAZAKH DELEGATION:

- The contracts on the supply of vegetables and fruits from the Central Asian countries to the Baltic republics have been concluded. These are what the Baltic businessmen asked to bring, because the organic food products such as tasty vegetables and fruits from the Central Asian countries are in high demand in the Baltic States. Now all this will go straight from Central Asia to the Baltic republics without intermediaries.

The forum was organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The main goal of the event was to open new markets for the companies of the Central Asian region.

RYDER ROGERS, SENIOR REGIONAL TRADE ADVISER, USAID/CENTRAL ASIA:

- We see a lot of interest, I think it is a natural fit for the Central Asian forums. I think, in Latvia people appreciate very tasty fruits and vegetables from Central Asia.

In return, the Latvian businessmen showed their interest in the first trade mission of the Central Asian countries. Over 100 Latvian companies submitted their application to participate in the meeting. As businessmen note, this visit opened new horizons for cooperation between the regions and individual countries.

JURIJS POGREBNAKS, LATVIAN AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

- Representatives of Latvia showed great interest in importing fruits, vegetables and nuts from Central Asia.  Not only Latvia, but also the entire Baltic Sea region and Scandinavia showed their interest in it. Speaking about trade between Latvia and Kazakhstan, the food products still occupy a small percentage in the trade turnover, so this mission can provide an additional impetus for cooperation in this area.

During the three-day program, the participants of the trade mission of the Central Asian countries visited the largest cities of Latvia. They presented their products and services, and also got acquainted with the local business environment as well as transport and logistics opportunities. Then, the delegation went to establish trade relations with the Lithuanian businessmen.

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