Latvia: A Coun­try of Am­ber

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Repub­lic of Latvia is lo­cated in north­east Eu­rope. It borders the Baltic Sea to the west, Es­to­nia to the north and Lithua­nia to the south. Th­ese three coun­tries com­prise the Baltic States. Latvia is a coastal coun­try. The Gulf of Riga flows in­land, and there are vast beaches. Forty-four per­cent of the coun­try's area is forested, and there are about 14,000 species of wildlife. The coun­try is known as the “Pearl of the Baltic Sea” as a re­sult of its nat­u­ral green scenery and at­tracts vis­i­tors from around the world.

Latvia is en­dowed with pic­turesque beaches and marine spe­cial­ties due to its prox­im­ity to the Baltic Sea, mak­ing it a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion in Eu­rope. Many Euro­peans head for Latvia in the sum­mer ev­ery year to en­joy the cooler cli­mate. Am­ber also quickly comes to mind for many peo­ple when talk­ing about Latvia. Am­ber in the coun­try is in­ex­pen­sive and of good qual­ity.

Am­ber can be roughly di­vided into trans­par­ent and opaque cat­e­gories, both of which are the same sub­stance ge­o­log­i­cally. Many de­posits are over 40–50 mil­lion years old. It has a good tex­ture and is pro­duced around the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea has a his­tory of more than a thou­sand years of am­ber min­ing and is well known for its abun­dance of this re­source. There is re­port­edly enough to mine for an­other 100 years. Am­ber is com­monly used in Riga, the coun­try's cap­i­tal. One can see var­i­ous am­ber or­na­ments on ven­dors' stalls here and there when strolling down the streets.

Latvia pre­sented vis­i­tors with spe­cial ex­hibits at its booth dur­ing the third “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event, such as var­i­ous types of seafood and many bracelets and neck­laces made of am­ber, which be­come the fo­cus of vis­i­tors' at­ten­tion. Xu Pu, a de­signer at the booth, men­tioned that Lat­vian am­ber bracelets fea­ture the orig­i­nal shapes of the am­ber that is used, be­cause Lat­vians think of am­ber as a gift from god. Am­ber-based ac­ces­sories, there­fore, come in var­i­ous shapes and sizes.

Latvia showed the world its charm on the “Colour­ful World” plat­form. The na­tion is an im­por­tant coun­try in Cen­tral and Eastern Eu­rope, lies along the Belt and Road, and par­tic­i­pates in co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Cen­tral and Eastern Euro­pean Coun­tries (CEEC). Latvia is also the first of the Baltic States to sign a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) re­gard­ing co­op­er­a­tion on the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI) with China. The coun­try has played a pos­i­tive role in the cre­ation of the Belt and Road.

In the fu­ture, Latvia hopes to build it­self into one of the lo­gis­tics cen­tres con­nect­ing the Eurasian con­ti­nent and be­come a trans­fer sta­tion along the Belt and Road. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the BRI will help with th­ese goals. Latvia has been an im­por­tant hub for re­gional trade in Eu­rope since an­cient times. It re­mains an im­por­tant junc­tion con­nect­ing the new Eurasian Land Bridge and the Mar­itime Silk Road. Riga has the largest port in the Baltic States and the largest in­ter­na­tional air­port and rail­way hub sta­tion in the Baltic re­gion. Trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics have be­come the pil­lar in­dus­tries of Latvia's econ­omy. Latvia's geo­graphic lo­ca­tion and in­fra­struc­ture ad­van­tages as well as China's ma­ture ex­pe­ri­ence and tech­nolo­gies in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, es­pe­cially in areas like rail­way, ports and trans­port lo­gis­tics, help Latvia par­tic­i­pate in the BRI and to achieve trans­for­ma­tive eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

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