On Friday, 4 November, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that “bilateral relations between Latvia and China are closer than ever before. Our country is genuinely interested in continuing our active political dialogue and frequent exchange of visits to further promote cooperation in economy, education, science and culture.” This is the first visit to Latvia by a Premier of China.
The Speaker of the Saeima went on to say that “the 16+1 platform for Central and Eastern European countries and China is a good instrument for enhancing cooperation. Latvia’s main priorities within this initiative are transport and logistics, as well as attracting investments, promoting trade relations and exchange of students. Latvia also appreciates the 16+1 Secretariat of Logistic Cooperation, which has been set up in Riga.”
Speaker Mūrniece also welcomed the fact that during the visit of the Chinese Premier six bilateral documents on cooperation in various fields had already been signed by both countries.
Latvia and China have good parliamentary cooperation and there are many friends of China within the Saeima, Speaker Mūrniece said. Mūrniece stated that the speakers of the parliaments of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8) are interested in organising a joint visit to China, and urged the Chinese Premier to support this initiative. Premier Li Keqiang attested that the Chinese parliament welcomes such a visit and urged, in turn, both parties to continue working on the organisational issues surrounding it.
The Speaker of the Saeima also mentioned sports as a field for cooperation, meaning the preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Latvia is willing to share its experience and offer access to its winter sports infrastructure. The Saeima Group for Interparliamentary Relations with China is willing to support this initiative.
From the Latvian side the meeting was also attended by Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņs, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, Laimdota Straujuma, Chairperson of the Sustainable Development Committee of the Saeima, Rihards Kols, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, Sergejs Potapkins, Chairman of the Saeima Group for Interparliamentary Relations with China, as well as Andrejs Pildegovičs, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Māris Selga, Latvian ambassador to China.
From the Chinese side the meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade, the Governor of the People’s Bank of China, the Standing Vice Secretary-General of the State Council, the Director of the Research Department of the State Council, the Deputy Chairman of the National Development and Reform Committee and the Chinese ambassador to Latvia.
Photos from the meeting: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/albums/72157676126443655
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Saeima Press Service