President drums up business in Dubai

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President Raimonds Vejonis left snowbound Riga February 25 for sunny Dubai on a mission to develop business links between Latvia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The three day visit is oriented towards growing trade between the two states, and Vejonis began by addressing the Dubai Business Forum

"Latvian companies are interested in new outlets outside the traditional export markets in Europe, so the United Arab Emirates in particular raises a lot of interest as a potential business destination," Vejonis said February 26.

The President said the forum provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs from Latvia and the UAE to make new business contacts and develop partnerships.

The UAE is the leading economic partner of Latvia among the Gulf states.

"Today, we are not starting our cooperation from a blank sheet. Total Latvian and UAE trade and services turnover in recent years has grown rapidly, in 2015 reaching 120 million euros. Trade volumes continue to grow, and it confirms that the two countries' economic cooperation has great potential," Vejonis said.

He also touted Latvia's attraction as a gateway to the huge European Union market of 740 million people and drew attention to the efforts of Latvia's national airline, airBaltic, to develop direct flights between the two countries.

As previously reported by LSM, direct scheduled flights between Riga and Abu Dhabi launch this October.

Vejonis also had the ministers of economics, agriculture and transport in tow as part of his delegation.

During the visit, Raymond Vejonis will also visit the international food and hospitality exhibition "Gulfood 2017" with the participation of 25 Latvian companies.


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