Latvia's Rinkēvičs at China's 16+1 summit in Croatia

On 11 and 12 April 2019, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs is representing Latvia at the 8th summit of Heads of State and Government of Central and Eastern Europe and China (the so-called 16+1 format) in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

At the summit, a high-level plenary session is scheduled, with the adoption of the final document entitled “Dubrovnik Guidelines”. After the plenary session, a formal ceremony will be held for signing of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding, in which Latvia will sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the municipality of the city of Ningbo in China on e-commerce cooperation.

At the same time as the summit of 16+1 Heads of Government, the 9th Business Forum of Central and Eastern European countries and China (16+1) will be held, with eight Latvian participants registered for it.

The cooperation format for Central and Eastern European (CAE) countries and China (16+1) aims to activate Chinese cooperation with 11 EU Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary) and five Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) in the field of transport, finance, science, education, culture and other. Latvia's priorities in the 16+1 format are trade, connectivity and life sciences.

The gathering in Dubrovnik comes three years after Rīga played host to the same event - an occasion notable for the announcement of a new 10 billion euro fund which Latvia signed up to, and about which very little has been heard since.

The 16+1 is a Chinese initiative to activate cooperation with 11 EU Member States and 5 Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia , Slovenia, Hungary) in the fields of investment, transport, finance, science, education and culture. China is Latvia's largest trading partner in the Far East.