RIGA – The Russian war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have not changed the basic principles of the global economy, but they have clearly emphasized the need for a much more vigilant approach when choosing trade partners, Latvian President Egils Levits said on Thursday at the opening of the Latvian-German Port Day in Germany.
“The long supply chains of strategic goods, which included autocratic regimes, turned out to be a trap. This must not happen again,” said the Latvian president.
So that such situations do not recur in the future, a smarter investment and trade policy based on much closer cooperation between countries with similar values is needed, noted Levits.
Levits emphasized the century-long ties between Latvia and Germany, which have left an impression in various spheres. In his assessment, German companies, entering the Latvian market or establishing a subsidiary there, soon come to the conclusion that it is easy to do business in Latvia – especially because of the similar work ethics and culture.
The President noted that the Hanseatic League, which once shaped the economy and politics of Northern Europe, was one of the first to realize the importance of deep economic integration as the backbone of lasting peace in Europe.
“The concept of economic integration, which creates a mutually beneficial network of mutual relations, was rediscovered after the painful experience of the Second World War. Currently, Latvia and Germany, as members of the European Union and NATO, are actively promoting peace and stability in Europe,” said the Latvian politician.
However, along with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the world is witnessing that deep economic ties are not enough to counter revisionist totalitarian regimes, Levits emphasized, but that the unity and decisiveness of the European Union’s member states was a surprise to Moscow’s aggressive dictatorship.
Levits emphasized that we should continue to support Ukraine with all possible means in its struggle for freedom.
The President emphasized that “we see NATO as the cornerstone of our physical security, the European Union as the backbone of our economic cooperation”.
The President expressed his satisfaction that at a time when the volume of trade between Latvia and Germany is increasing, Port Days are also taking place.
The President also pointed to the opportunities of the European Green Deal, saying that it is important to transform our economy towards sustainable and green energy in times of climate change. The President also pointed out the importance of Latvian ports in ensuring the green transition.