TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan-Latvia: 30-year dynamic partnership across economic frontiers

12 January 2024 [08:30] - TODAY.AZ
 By Azernews

Nigar Hasanova

Azerbaijan and Latvia, with a history of amicable relations, are fostering a comprehensive partnership. From economic collaborations to diplomatic ties, the nations are actively engaged in enhancing their relationship.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia were established on January 11, 1994, and have since flourished. Both countries maintain embassies in each other's territories, fostering political dialogues through reciprocal high-level visits. The second session of the strategic dialogue between Azerbaijan and Latvia this year underscores the commitment to political, economic, energy, transportation, and humanitarian cooperation. Discussions within international organizations and insights into the post-conflict period in the region were vital parts of the dialogue.

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Latvia amounted to $27.1 million in 2021 and continued at $19 million in the first five months of 2022, indicating sustained economic engagement.
As of February 1, 2023, 59 Latvian-capital commercial structures operate in Azerbaijan. The value of trade soared by over 70%, reaching $46 million in 2022. Exports to Latvia, primarily from the non-oil sector, nearly tripled, emphasizing Latvia's significance in Azerbaijani non-oil product imports. Bilateral investments have flowed, with Latvia investing $151 million in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan reciprocating with $166 million in Latvia.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO) and Latvia's Investment and Development Agency. This agreement aims to bolster economic relations and implement joint investment projects, providing a framework for mutually beneficial initiatives.
Latvia also welcomed the gas deal signed between the European Union and Azerbaijan, aiming to deliver 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to the EU by 2027. A historic decision by the Latvian government to cease the purchase and use of Russian natural gas from January 1, 2023, marks a significant milestone in strengthening Latvia's energy security and independence. The move reflects a commitment to finding alternative gas supplies to the EU and diversifying energy sources amid evolving geopolitical situations.

In terms of energy, Latvia envisions a robust partnership with Azerbaijan in the renewable energy sector, emphasizing a strategic focus on sustainable energy capacities, particularly wind and solar-based generation. The Latvian Foreign Ministry underscores the vast potential for collaboration in research, development, knowledge transfer, technological exchange, and solar installation development.

"We are happy that it was possible to arrange an in-person meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission after a longer break, in May 2022. During the meeting, the 8th Cooperation Protocol was signed, thus setting out a clear vision for the priority areas of cooperation. The previous meeting in Riga also provided the Azerbaijani delegation with the opportunity to have a true insight into the activities of Latvian companies, especially in areas such as green energy and renewable energy," the ministry said on second meeting of Intergovernmental Commission with Azerbaijan.

During this event Latvia expressed keen interest in Azerbaijan's reconstruction efforts in Garabagh. Latvian companies are exploring collaboration in construction, restoration, green energy zones, water and waste management, and infrastructure projects. The Latvian Cluster Cleantech Latvia is sharing practices in water, waste, air, and energy-efficient solutions. Prospects for cooperation in areas like ICT, smart energy, and green technologies are being actively explored.

President of Latvia, Egils Levits, also acknowledges Azerbaijan's pivotal role in EU energy security.

"In particular, I have to note Azerbaijan's role in the issue of energy supply. We will continue to take steps to develop ties between Latvia and Azerbaijan. The EU is looking for new suppliers to ensure energy security. Relations between the EU and Azerbaijan in this direction are at a high level," he said last year attending the 10th Global Baku Forum, themed The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes.
Latvia aligns its cooperation with Azerbaijan with a shared ambition across Europe to reduce harmful emissions and achieve a carbon-neutral macroeconomic output by 2050. The country has been actively decreasing its reliance on natural gas in the domestic energy mix, with biomass and hydroelectric plants emerging as key sources of renewable energy.
The envisioned collaboration in renewable energy signifies a forward-looking partnership between Latvia and Azerbaijan. The commitment to reducing emissions, embracing alternative energy sources, and ensuring energy security positions both countries on a path towards sustainable and resilient energy futures.

The 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia was celebrated through an event at Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exchange of congratulatory letters between the Foreign Ministers of both countries emphasized the enduring growth of diplomatic ties.

In conclusion, Azerbaijan and Latvia's evolving partnership during this 30 years exemplifies a dynamic and multifaceted relationship. From economic synergies to diplomatic milestones, the collaboration showcases the commitment of both nations to mutual growth and prosperity. The recent developments underscore the deepening ties and the shared vision for a prosperous future.


Print version

Views: 758

Connect with us. Get latest news and updates.

Recommend news to friend

  • Your name:
  • Your e-mail:
  • Friend's name:
  • Friend's e-mail: