Today, on 1 March, the second meeting of the Joint Committee between Latvia and the UAE took place, where both countries reached an agreement about further cooperation in fields such as investment attraction, trade, logistics, development of innovations and technologies and food processing. The Latvian side in the Joint Committee was represented by the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, with a delegation was representing the UAE.
Head of the Latvian delegation, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics, Raimonds Lapiņš says: “We have made a significant step towards closer cooperation with the UAE. EXPO 2020 in Dubai has served as an excellent platform for Latvian entrepreneurs to get to know the region. Already 200 Latvian entrepreneurs, representing different fields, including smart specialisations such as the biomedicine and space industry, have expressed interest in cooperating with Gulf Region countries. For Latvian entrepreneurs, EXPO 2020 has been the most successful fair of this kind yet, which has fostered cooperation among the countries.”
Latvia will continue its cooperation with the UAE in exports, investment attraction and innovation. The representatives of the UAE have expressed their interest in working together towards fostering innovation, implementing smart energy projects, as well as establishing an investment fund. In the next few months, a new cooperation platform for facilitation of new business ideas in mobility, circular economy, green innovation, and biomedicine will be created. The platform’s aim is to support startups that provide solutions to enable access to clean water, which is a challenge defined by the ‘Mission Sea 2030’ strategy. The issue is of high importance for both Latvia and the UAE. Port infrastructure and logistics services are rapidly developing; the UAE is ready to invest in introducing new technology for port infrastructure, and Latvia has plenty of solutions to bring to the table.
“Currently, the UAE, similar to Latvia, is in a stage of economic transformation and is very interested in the development of technologically-intensive, widely scalable business ideas. ‘Mission Sea 2030’ is an excellent platform based on which we can cooperate with the UAE at a new level. We predict that new support tools could broaden the possibilities of Latvian companies to attract investments from the Gulf Region countries, as well as provide a significant contribution to the Latvian economy,” emphasises Kaspars Rožkalns, Director General of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
Implementation of the programme will take place in four stages. First, the best team solutions related to mobility, technologies, the sea, ports or other blue or water economy-related areas will be selected in an idea hackathon. It will be followed by the pre-incubation period with training, business idea testing, development of business plans and the creation of a prototype. In the third or incubation stage it is planned to conduct product tests and broadening of the economic operations; however, in the 4th stage the study of the international market and attraction of potential cooperation partners will take place.
The practical steps in the establishment of the new cooperation platform will be taken after the development of the programme conditions in Latvia and the UAE.
Latvia’s cooperation with the UAE in innovation will be one of the first activities made in line with the Latvian national image ‘Mission Sea 2030’. In parallel, work on the creation of the Baltic Sea digital twin continues, to broaden the possibilities of the companies and the State Administration for modelling the development of different scenarios in the countries next to the Baltic Sea.
From 26 February to 2 March, 14 representatives of Latvian companies and scientific institutions were visiting the UAE to make new connections, attend the Port of Dubai and the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park and the EXPO 2020 fair.