An official mission from Luxembourg to Latvia took place from 13th to 15th March 2023, on the occasion of the State Visit of H.R.H the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The official mission, organized by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation and the Embassy of Luxembourg in Warsaw accredited to Latvia, was aimed at strengthening economic ties between Luxembourg and Latvia.
H.R.H the Grand Duke of Luxembourg was accompanied by H.E. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, and Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy of Luxembourg. The business delegation comprised 20 Luxembourg-based companies and was headed by Carlo Thelen, CEO of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The mission was a great success, with a variety of events taking place over the course of the three-day visit
On the first day the business delegation had the opportunity to visit the Latvian company MikroTik and hear about their operations in the IT field and 5G expansion in the country. This was followed by a networking event at the Riga National Library.
On the second day, the highlight was the Latvia-Luxembourg Business Forum. The welcome remarks were given by H.R.H. the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, followed by speeches from H.E. Egils Levits, the President of the Republic of Latvia, Minister Franz Fayot and Ilze Indriksone, Minister of Economics of Latvia. The forum aimed to explore bilateral ties between both countries as well as networking and investment opportunities between Latvia and Luxembourg.
The mission focused on ICT, sustainability, construction, manufacturing, and wood, which were the topics of presentation focused on in the economic part of the Forum. In his opening presentation, Carlo Thelen emphasized the importance of the mission and the potential for increased economic cooperation between the two countries, hence seeing an unexpected opportunity arising out of the State visit. Indeed, both countries share certain similarities. Sectors such as Space and sustainable construction are being developed and both are pursuing a strategy of a circular economy and have developed digital tools to enable the transition to a greener and more sustainable economic model.
The ensuing panel discussion then expanded on how digital tools help to create circular economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energies, as well as monitor and protect ecosystems. In Luxembourg, there are currently many ongoing projects in the field of environmental technologies which were represented amongst the business delegation. Concrete examples from companies in Luxembourg and Latvia who have developed these technologies were presented during the panel discussion.
The afternoon was dedicated to B2B matchmaking meetings where Luxembourg companies had the opportunity to meet with Latvian companies one-on-one. A total of 90 B2B meetings took place, with many participants expressing interest in developing business opportunities. A special seminar dedicated to the Wood sector was held in parallel. Wood is one of the economic sectors that could still be explored from Luxembourg's point of view. Latvia is covered by more than 50 per cent of forests and Luxembourg has a direct interest in this. In the construction sector, wood accounts for only about seven percent of the building materials used. However, in a strategy of circular economy less concrete and more wood should be emphasized to achieve a sustainable building model.
In the evening of the 14th of March, an official reception was held in honour of H.E. Egils Levits, President of Latvia hosted by H.R.H. the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. This gave companies and participants a final occasion for networking in the beautiful setting of the Latvian National Museum of Art. H.R.H. the Grand Duke took great interest in meeting the Luxembourgish business delegation and finding out more about their interests in Latvia.
The last day of the mission began with a visit of the old center of Riga. The participants had the opportunity to discover the city’s history and culture. This was followed by a visit to the VEFRESH Innovation Hub, where the participants received insights into Latvia's innovative business ecosystem and its support for startups and entrepreneurs. The morning then concluded with a stop at the Origo One Business Center, where the delegation had a guided tour with further explanations about this unique and modern class A office building in the heart of Riga. Its excellent location, modern technologies, engineering solutions and flexible layout make it an interesting hub for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Overall, the economic mission to Latvia was a great success, with many companies expressing interest in further developing their business opportunities there. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy and Luxinnovation are committed to follow-up on the outcomes of this official mission and to help facilitate cooperation potential.