Ghana and Latvia have agreed to strengthen their bilateral relations and share best practices for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP) paid a working visit to the Republic of Latvia in mid July 2018. In a meeting with her Latvian counterpart Mr. Edgars Rink?vi?s, the Minister indicated that the achievements of Latvia in the last one hundred years since gaining independence were worth emulating by Ghana. She stressed that Ghana was committed to take her collaboration with Latvia to another level, to ensure that relations between the two countries was strengthened for the mutual benefit of both countries.
She disclosed that Ghana’s collaboration with Latvia will focus on areas such as Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Education and E-Governance. She also proposed that the Latvian Government could consider a possible inter-universities exchange programmes that would see Latvian students coming to Ghana to study particularly, at the Institute of African Studies.
The Foreign Minister for Latvia, Mr. Edgars Rink?vi?s, for his part said, his country was delighted to partner with Ghana on both political and economic levels for the mutual benefit of both countries. He added that both Ghana and Latvia valued the essence of their independence and have a duty to continue in their efforts to protect and secure the freedom the two countries are enjoying currently.
Collaboration to improve legislative functions in both countries.
During discussions at a meeting held between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and the Deputy Speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Ms. Inese L?bina-Egnere, Ghana and Latvia agreed to share best practices to improve the legislative functions in their respective countries as required by their sovereign constitutions.
The Deputy Speaker Ms. L?bina-Egnere, indicated that the Latvian Parliament would be glad to share it’s rich experience in the areas of ICT- aided law making, the approach to constant engagements between Members of Parliament and their constituents, processes leading to the passage of laws to protect consumers and the development of privacy rights. Hon. Botchwey pointed out that she would forward the content of the discussions to the leadership of Parliament to begin work on the actual processes leading to the exchange of ideas.
The two leaders, during their discussions, agreed that it was time for their respective countries to lift their bilateral relations from political consultations to economic collaboration that would yield financial benefits for both countries. The meeting also considered various sectors of the Latvian body politic that has seen transformation such as education, e-governance, agro processing and the pharmaceutical industry.
Ghana to appoint Honorary Consul in Latvia to boost cooperation
During a meeting with the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Mr. ?riks Egl?tis and the Latvian Business Community, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey observed that to enhance economic cooperation between Ghana and Latvia, it was extremely important that consular service was brought to the door step of the Latvian people. She made a request to the Government of Latvia to assist the Government of Ghana to identity a suitable person who would be appointed to the office of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Ghana to Latvia.
Latvia has an Honorary Consul in Ghana who is resident in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, whiles Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany, Mrs. Gina Blay, has concurrent accreditation to Latvia, making it difficult for potential Latvian businesses and investors who may require consular services to receive same in real time since they have to embark on a journey to Berlin, Germany.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Mr. ?riks Egl?tis, welcomed the request and assured that he would collaborate with the Foreign Ministry of Latvia to assist Ghana in appointing the appropriate person for the role. The State Secretary added that his country was excited about the new prospects of economic cooperation between Ghana and Latvia. He assured that Latvia was committed to ensuring that the cooperation between the two countries succeed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre(GIPC) Mr. Yoofi Grant, in a brief remark indicated that the appointment of an Honorary Consul of Ghana to Latvia would invariably help to kick start engagements in Latvia in order to ascertain investments prospects that exist in each others country that can be utilized for their mutual benefit.