Latvian businesses make headway in China

Take note – story published 7 years ago

Looking for new trading partners, Latvian officials and entrepreneurs have visited China. Latvia's companies are cautious about rushing into the Chinese market but recently have concluded an agreement over shipping 3 containers of canned fish, reported Latvian Television Saturday.

In 2014 Ningbo, a port city and a Special Economic Zone in China, hosted the first exhibition of Latvian products in the country. The Chinese government has made Ningbo the city that will have the greatest role in strengthening trade with 16 Central and Eastern European countries.

This autumn Latvia will play host to the leaders of China and fifteen countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Ningbo is carrying out special preparation for the event, said Vice Mayor Wang Jianhou during the opening of the Latvia-China business forum.

"Latvia...has well-educated workforce, established traditions of innovation, and a very forthcoming investment policy. It makes it very attractive to Chinese investment. I would encourage businessmen and people from Ningbo to go to Latvia," said Vice Mayor Wang Jianhou.

The Chinese side stresses possible cooperation in the food industry.

"Food industry entrepreneurs are particularly welcome. We want to import food of a very high quality. Of course we'd like Latvian entrepreneurs and tourists to come here," said Kong Weiwei, director of the Ningbo Foreign Affairs Office. 

Latvian food producers however sound somewhat cautious.

"We are having several serious discussions, but we cannot tell whether we'll succeed. We have to realize that we'll have to put in a lot of work," said Baiba Circene, board member at the Kroņstrauts company.

Potential Chinese trading partners say similar things. "First of all we'll review the price offered by the manufacturer, then assess the potential costs of transport, import duties and other costs. Only then we'll be able to realize [whether to cooperate]," said Aaron Siao, representative of the Meiyikang Import and Export company.

However things are already in motion for some, as fish producer Gamma A recently struck a deal with a Ningbo company over delivering 3 containers of canned fish, worth €200,000 in total.

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