Latvia: A Country of Amber
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.