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Categories: Latvia in review

Gabriel Jackson and the Riches of the Baltic Choral Tradition

By Daina Ruduša, “Rīga 2014” project coordinator, Latvian Institute “Imagine a song so special that everybody knows it by heart, so beautiful that everybody loves it with a passion, and that every five years over 10 000 people gather to sing to hundreds of thousands more.” That was the opening line of the BBC Radio […]

Independence Day Sentiments

By Karina Pētersone Director, Latvian Institute Latvia celebrates its National day twice a year, on November 18 and May 4. Why so? Do we have a stronger love for our land than other nations? Maybe, but that is definitely not the reason. The reason is the harsh path of history that tore our sovereign existence […]

Latvian Composers to Dominate LNO in 2014

Kultura.lv Making a significant contribution to the multitude of events in 2014, when Riga will bear the title of European Capital of Culture, will be the Latvian National Opera (LNO). It has a number of intriguing projects planned highlighting works by Latvian composers. Getting things under way in January 2014 will be a composer associated […]

New Productions from Hermanis and Ķimele Ready for Opening Night

Kultura.lv May 14 and May 16 are dates to be noted as the award-winning New Riga Theater (Jaunais Rīgas teātris, JRT) will mark openings for two new productions from two brilliant directors – Alvis Hermanis and Māra Ķimele. Calling it JRT’s first venture into ‘’political theater”, Hermanis has selected Henrik Ibsen’s ‘’ An Enemy of […]

May is Imants Ziedonis’ Month

Kultura.lv Sadly, the celebration will now be in memoriam as the nation recently laid to rest one of its heroes – the poet and prophet Imants Ziedonis. He would have turned 80 on May 3. Nonetheless, Imants Ziedonis’ Month – with its long list of interesting events – will go on as planned, and here […]

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President Bērziņš Congratulates New King of Netherlands

Chancery of the President President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš has written to the new King of the Netherlands, Willem Alexander, to congratulate him on assuming his responsible duties. The President sent the best wishes of the Latvian people and himself to the King, also expressing the hope that the Netherlands and its people will enjoy […]

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Latvia-India Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to Be Signed in Near Future

Ministry of Foreign Affairs On April 30 in Rīga, Head of the Economic and Bilateral Relations Directorate of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia, Jānis Mažeiks, and Joint Secretary for Central Europe at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Rahul Chhabra, met for the fifth India-Latvia political consultations to discuss the most important issues of […]

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Rinkēvičs and Commander of US Transportation Command Speak Highly of Northern Distribution Network

Ministry of Foreign Affairs On May 3, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs met with General William M. Fraser III, USAF, Commander of the United States Transportation Command. Foreign Minister thanked General Fraser for his personal contribution to facilitating Latvia-U.S. cooperation in the area of transit via the Northern Distribution Network and congratulated the General on being […]

Industrial Production up 0,7% in March

Compared to February of this year, volume of industrial production in March 2013 rose by 0,7%, according to the seasonally adjusted data at constant prices of the Central Statistical Bureau. The biggest increase, 8%, was recorded in electricity and gas supply. In March 2013, industrial production output at current prices comprised 431 million lats. As […]

Latvia Registers EU’s Biggest Retail Trade Increase in March – Eurostat

Latvia has had the third biggest annual increase of retail trade volume in March 2013, compared to March 2012, among the European Union (EU) states, Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, reports. Among the Member States for which data are available, total retail trade fell in fourteen and rose in seven. The largest decreases […]

Latvia Sees European Youth Guarantee as Tool for Reducing Migration

Saeima.lv The European Youth Guarantee is more than just a significant tool for curbing unemployment; it is also an opportunity to significantly reduce migration caused by the high level of youth unemployment, said Arvils Ašeradens, Deputy Chairman of the Social and Employment Matters Committee, at a meeting of chairpersons of employment, enterprise, innovation and social […]

Latvia’s GDP to Grow 3,8% in 2013, 5% in 2014 – SEB

Latvia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 3,8% this year and 5% next year, according to latest East European macroeconomic outlook released by SEB Banka. Meanwhile, GDP growth in Lithuania is expected to reach 3,2% in 2013 and 3,5% in 2014, and in Estonia GDP should grow 3,8% in 2013 and 3,7% in […]

Producer Prices Drop, Supply Side Pressure on Prices Still Low

In February 2013, the producer prices on production sold domestically dropped, and the drop was sufficient (-0.4%), to bring down the total producer price index (by 0.2%). As was expected, such price dynamics was primarily determined by the energy producing branches (which primarily operate in the domestic market), in all likelihood, under the impact of […]

Mark Rothko Returns To Latvia

By Karina Pētersone Director, Latvian Institute On April 24 friends of Latvia and Mark Rothko worldwide celebrated his symbolical return to his birthplace in Daugavpils at the newly established Mark Rothko Art Centre. Mark Rothko, founder of the abstract expressionism art movement, a central figure of the so-called New York school of painting in post-war […]

Latvians Triumph in European Robotics Championship

Latvians Triumph in European Robotics Championship

Text: Latvian Institute Three Latvian-made robots triumphed in the European robotics championship’s prestigious Robot Sumo challenge, claiming the three top spots. The win automatically qualifies the teams for the World Robot Sumo Championship in Japan, meaning Europe will be represented by Latvia. The European championship „RobotChallenge” featured designers from all over the world with their […]

Latvian Baby Furniture Collection Goes Golden in “A’ Design Award 2013”

Latvian Institute The „bird&berry” collection of baby furniture from „KUKUU”, designed by Aija Priede-Sietiņa and Daneks Sietiņs, has won the golden award in the “A’ Design Award 2013” event for Baby, Kids’ and Children’s Products Design Category. “With the collection we tried to find a balance between the parent’s and the child’s understandings of aesthetics. […]

„Prāta Vētra” to Play in Glastonbury Festival

Latvian Institute Latvian band „Prāta Vētra” (aka „Brainstorm”) has announced it will participate in the world’s biggest music event – The Glastonbury festival. The band is set to play a slot on the second biggest stage of the festival “The Other Stage” on June 29. Glastonbury festival will attract 140 000 people this year – […]

Low Annual Inflation Determined by Factors from Previous Periods

Daina Paula, Bank of Latvia economist, Macroeconomics.lv The annual inflation in Mach 2013 remained at a low level (0.2%), with consumer prices undergoing a seasonal rise of 0.5% month-on-month. That the annual inflation remained so low was rather determined by the dynamic of particular factors from earlier (including base) periods instead of new ones. First, […]

External Trade Indicators Testify To the Sustained Competitiveness of Latvian Producers

Daina Pelēce, Bank of Latvia economist, Macroeconomics.lv In February 2013, the external trade turnover of Latvian goods remained almost the same month-on-month, with exports increasing by 1.9% and imports dropping by 1.6%. The annual rise in Latvian exports reached 9.6% in February, which is a good indicator, particularly against the background of the unstable external […]

Baltic Parliamentarians Agree On Joint Position Regarding CAP

Saeima.lv On Friday, April 12, Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee of the Saeima; Saulius Bucevičius, Chairman of the Committee on Rural Affairs of the Seimas; and Kalvi Kõva, Chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, signed a declaration on the joint position of the Baltic States […]

Āboltiņa Urges Ensuring the Existence of a Free and Independent Latvia

Āboltiņa Urges Ensuring the Existence of a Free and Independent Latvia

Saeima.lv On the day when the restored state of Latvia has become a day older then the first independent state of Latvia, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, addressed the parliament from the rostrum of the Saeima and urged everybody to think about the basis for the existence of our state and to take responsibility […]

A Celebration of Culture like No Other

By Daina Ruduša, “Rīga 2014” project coordinator, Latvian Institute Singing, dancing, and culture in all its forms are part of the day to day life in Latvia. But there is one event which holds a special place in the busy Latvian cultural calendar – the Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Celebration which takes place every […]

Garanča, Antoņenko and Nelsons Nominated for International Opera Awards

Latvian Institute Four Latvian opera stars are among the nominees for international opera awards. Aleksandrs Antoņenko tops the list of six finalists in the Male Singer category. Conductor Andris Nelsons is a finalist in two categories – DVD and CD (Complete Opera). Cited for the former is “Lohengrin”, Bayreuth Festival (on the Opus Arte label); […]

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Rinkēvičs and New Ambassador of Switzerland Discuss Latvia’s Course towards OECD

Ministry of Foreign Affairs On April 5, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs met with the new Ambassador of Switzerland to Latvia Markus Niklaus Paul Dutly, who had arrived on an introductory visit. Foreign Minister and Ambassador discussed cooperation between Latvia and Switzerland. The parties noted that the countries had established a good political dialogue and close […]

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Turkey Expresses Support for Latvia’s OECD Membership

Ministry of Foreign Affairs On April 2, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs met with the Minister for European Union Affairs of Turkey, Egemen Bağış. Their discussion covered the political relations of both countries, the main issues of Turkey-EU relations and the agenda of international affairs. Both parties expressed satisfaction at the official visit to Latvia by […]

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Rinkēvičs Voices Concern over Situation in Korean Peninsula to New Ambassador of China

Ministry of Foreign Affairs On April 4, in a discussion with the new Ambassador of China to Latvia Yang Guoqiang, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed serious concern over the escalation of the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Foreign Minister announced that the North Korean government had crossed all the possible “red lines” by its aggressive […]

Saeima Extends Tax Relief Period in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones

Saeima.lv On Thursday, April 4, the Latvian Parliament Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Application of Taxes in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones in the final reading. The amendments stipulate that licenced capital companies and free port administrations are entitled to direct tax relief until December 31, 2035. The period has been extended […]

IMF Announces Closure of Resident Representative Office in Latvia

Latvian Institute The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on April 2 that it will close its office in Riga in the summer of 2013, after Resident Representative David Moore completes his posting. The IMF had opened the office in mid-2009 following the Executive Board’s approval of a Stand-By Arrangement for Latvia in late 2008. “Latvia […]

Ilves: Joining the Euro Area Would Be a Sign of Latvia’s Strength and Success

Chancery of the President On April 8, at his Ärma farm, the Estonian head of state, Toomas Hendrik Ilves hosted the Latvian president Andris Bērziņš. The unofficial meeting of the two leaders focused on Europe and the euro area. President Ilves recognised Latvia’s successful preparations to join the euro area. “I, however, understand the concerns […]

Dombrovskis Invites Medvedev to Visit Latvia

State Chancellery Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis concluded his visit to Russia on April 6 where he participated in the Baltic Sea Forum, held a meeting with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and other officials. This was the first bilateral meeting of V.Dombrovskis and the Head of Government of Russia. V.Dombrovskis extended an invitation to […]