From June 30 to July 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting a meeting of Latvia’s Honorary Consuls with the aim of discussing the issues high on the foreign policy agenda of Latvia, its economic development and opportunities for business cooperation, including involvement in the export promotion and attraction of foreign investments. The Honorary Consuls will also hear the latest news concerning consular work and the events to commemorate Latvia’s centenary.
The meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was opened by Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, and a welcome speech was delivered by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis. At the Saeima, the Honorary Consuls will be welcomed by the Speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Ināra Mūrniece.
The Minister of Economy, Arvils Ašeradens, will speak about economic development and challenges, while the Minister of Culture, Dace Melbārde, will introduce the visitors to the programme of events for Latvia’s centennial anniversary and the Director of the Latvian Institute, Aiva Rozenberga, will outline opportunities for cooperation with the institution. The issues of current importance in consular work will be presented by the Under-Secretary of State, Administrative Director Alda Vanga. The Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Andris Ozols, has also been invited to make a presentation.
After the official sessions, the Honorary Consuls will have a tour of the renovated Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga and will also visit Ventspils and Liepāja.
A reception for the Honorary Consuls will be hosted by President Raimonds Vējonis and his spouse.
This is the eighth meeting and will bring together 90 Latvian Honorary Consuls from 52 countries. They are representing Latvia’s interests in all regions across the globe – Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In total, Latvia has 170 Honorary Consuls in foreign countries.
The Foreign Ministry has been organising the gatherings of Latvia's Honorary Consuls every other year since 2002. The meetings have become a tradition which enables Latvia to promote economic, cultural, and consular co-operation, especially in the countries where Latvia has no diplomatic representation.
Honorary Consuls are appointed by the Foreign Minister, and they are not paid a salary from the state budget.