Kerry: Latvia has multiple advantages when compared with other countries
Latvia is an attractive place for investments. It has a great potential for foreign investments, comments U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived in Riga this week to learn more about the situation in Latvia and consider investment options.
Kerry, who is considering becoming an investor, arrived in Riga because he believes this part of the world has enormous potential. «The country is developing faster than the rest of Europe,» said Kerry, adding that people look at places like Latvia that have governments wanting to move forward, a well realized policy, people willing to work and external trade within the EU and outside it.
He added that Latvia’s export and industrial indexes continue increasing. «If I’m not mistaken, your industrial indexes have grown by 5.5% and your GDP index has grown more rapidly than the rest of Europe. Because of that, this looks like the place where things get done and opportunities shine,» Kerry said.
The former U.S. Secretary of State believes Latvia has multiple advantages over other countries. «You have a powerful education system. You have a prepared and work-happy labour force. You are an EU member state, which is important for compliance with regulations and standards in trust and transparency. You have the will and demand. Those are important prerequisites for a sustainable market,» he said. He also mentioned Latvia’s history. «The country is part of traditions left from the Hanseatic League. It is a capital of those traditions. Latvia showed an example to the rest of the world by making a choice in 1991 and remaining true to our common values. People have to learn more about Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. You’ve managed to protect your positions under the shadow of major threats the entire world may not be aware of. I am certain you have fortitude, which is something to be proud of,» Kerry comments.
Kerry agrees that the interest of American investors for the Baltic region has increased over the course of the past several years. This is also related to security guarantees provided by USA and NATO. «I think we can talk about changes on the game field. What I mean is president Barack Obama’s declared support certification programme, which we realized two years ago, quadrupling support for front-line countries to USD 3.4 billion. We have commenced cooperation with Poland, Canada, Latvia, Germany, UK and other Baltic States,» Kerry explains.
The former U.S. Secretary of State admits investments do have ties with current geopolitical challenges. This is because economic policy and foreign policy nowadays are closely associated with one another – investments strengthen countries and bring the much-needed security in the current geopolitical situation. When he was in charge of the U.S. Department of State, he tried assisting other countries’ growth: «I want to re-emphasize just how important economic policy is for foreign policy and vice-versa. If we look at the Arab Spring, the situation in Ukraine – people everywhere desire responsibility, transparency, economic opportunities. People do not want corrupt businesses to steal their future,» Kerry said.
He did not say if he would invest in Latvia. Nevertheless, he said that this visit is an opportunity for him to learn more about Latvia, its neighbours and how they become stronger and provide better welfare to their residents. «I am here to look at the situation from the inside; look at the needs and what is expected from the future,» Kerry noted.