Latvian pavilion center stage in Kazakhstan

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Latvia's pavilion at the 'EXPO 2017' event in Astana, Kazakhstan took center stage July 10 with a visit from President Raimonds Vejonis.

"The aim of the Latvian transport sector is to maintain a leading position in the Baltic countries," Vējonis said in opening a conference titled: "Global traffic vision. Eurasian potential." 

Transport and transit have traditionally been cornerstones of the Latvian economy and will remain an important national priority, he said, pointing towards the fact that Latvia's ports are handling large cargo volumes.

"For many years Kazakhstan has been a reliable partner of Latvia," he told his audience. 

"Cooperation in transport and logistics has been mutually beneficial. Our national geographical advantage and developed transport infrastructure is the key to unlock the door and the opportunity to connect the continents," he added.

The development of container traffic from Europe through Latvia to Asian countries, as well as cargo flows in the opposite direction were now a priority, he suggested.

"Kazakhstan is clearly one of the most vital Latvian partners," said Vējonis.

July 9 was designated the national day of Latvia at the Expo event and featured a performance from singer Intars Busulis, amongst others. You can view the concert below, which begins with renditions of the Kazakh and Latvian national anthems after which President Vejonis gets a well-deserved round of applause for saying a couple of lines in Kazakh.

Then it's music of a more relaxing nature with the highlight being Raimonds Pauls' settings of Yevgeny Yevtushenko poems.

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The slogan of the Latvian pavilion is "Energy is in our nature."

The event runs June 10 until September 10. You can see more about the Latvian presence in Astana at a dedicated Facebook page.

Our favorite video so far from Astana is this one of a young visitor to the Latvian stand experiencing virtual Latvia.

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