Latvia eyes UK companies for future partnerships

Posted on 1 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

UK manufacturers are being targeted by a delegation of senior businessmen from Latvia next month in a bid to help foster closer ties between the two countries.

The Baltic state will be on stands E4 and E45 at Subcon 2011 ( held on 7th-9th June) and is looking to attract local firms to meet with ten of its companies, including Dambis, Vikan Marketing, Nook Serviss, RD Alfa and Volburg.

With input from the Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands (MAS-WM), the link-up will explore mutual benefits of working together through supply chain development, collaborative R&D and, importantly, using Latvia as a potential gateway to the CIS block of countries.

Guntis Rubins, head of representative office of Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) in the UK, said: “Trade between the UK and Latvia in 2010 almost doubled and we now have in excess of 1,000 firms working together on projects and investing in each other’s countries. It’s not difficult to see why, as we both share similar growth sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, medical, ICT and low carbon automotive.”

He continued: “For instance, we can offer firms access to a supply chain that potentially offers them competitive cost downs, whilst Latvian companies are eager to tap into the innovation and value added design so prevalent in the UK.”

In addition to meeting the individual Latvian businesses, manufacturers will also have the opportunity to learn more about potential trade in the Baltic country through discussions with the LIAA and the Latvian Mechanical Engineering and Metalworking Industries Association.

Rachel Eade, project manager at MAS-WM, commented: “Manufacturing is truly global now and we need to ensure that we give UK firms the opportunity to explore new relationships with like-minded international businesses like those operating in Latvia.”

In 2010, the UK was Latvia’s 8th largest export partner and the 15th largest import partner.

The largest groups of commodities imported from the UK to Latvia were machinery and mechanical appliances and electrical equipment (26% of the total UK export to Latvia) followed by textiles and textiles articles (15%), chemicals and allied industries (14%) and metal articles (11%).