He said that it was a common trend among the EU member states to close their embassies in some countries to open embassies in other countries. Due to limited financing, some EU member states have closed their embassies in Latvia, the foreign minister added.
An example of this trend would be Austria announcing embassy closures in the Baltics by fall 2018.
„We have decided to continue with restructuring of embassies. The embassy in South Korea will open already this year but the embassy in Portugal will soon be shut down,” Rinkevics said.
South Korea clearly has an economic potential therefore Latvia wants to open an embassy there to expand economic cooperation, he said.
The Latvian Foreign Ministry announced in early September this year that Latvia will be the first of the Baltic states to open a diplomatic representation office in the South Korean capital Seoul.
In 2014 South Korea was Latvia's second largest trade partner in Asia after China. Foreign trade between both countries in 2014 reached €98m and might exceed €100m this year.
Thanks to the EU-South Korean free trade agreement, bilateral trade has been growing in the past years, with the biggest growth recorded in export of timber and timber products and mineral products.