ESSAY TOPIC: “My first 3 tasks I would like to perform as a Latvian Ambassador to strengthen Latvia- India relations”
The size of Latvia and India may differ greatly, though both are connected through shared beliefs in democratic values and respect for human rights, justice, rule of law and joint interests to maintain the rules-based international order. Latvia established itself as an independent state in 1918, celebrating its Centenary throughout the years 2017 till 2021, and India – in 1947,soon reaching its 75th birthday.Both countries have had long and difficult path towards democracy and statehood. The two states established formal diplomatic relations only after 1991, when Latvia restored its independence [from the Soviet occupation]. In 2015 Latvia opened its diplomatic Mission in New Delhi. Since then the relationship between the both countries has been brought to the next level.We are witnessing the growing dynamics of diplomacy, economics and trade, educational and cultural exchange.
However, Latvia and India were not building a relationship from the scratch. There are remarkable facts, which prove that there are historical bonds that unite the Indian and Latvian people. Although being thousands of kilometers apart, both have been historically linked by the ancient trade route called The Amber Way. India has been one of the destinations for Baltic amber. Likewise, the Latvian language has originated from Indo-European linguistic branch and bears quite a close resemblance of Sanskrit.
Now is a time to reinterpret the special ties into modernity, into The New Amber Way between Latvia and India. Let’s look for excellent foundation and examples through which to expand the bilateral trade, investments and people-to-people contacts between Latvia and India.
There is a huge scope to improve bilateral relations between India and Latvia in the field of trade, culture, education and research.
- Cooperation in the field of logistic and transport, develop transit service and investment opportunities in port terminals and logistics centres in Latvia, I would like to encourage Indian exporters to use the Amber Way and take advantage of port of Riga and its services to supply their goods to Europe through the rail and port infrastructure. Latvia can be a gateway for India to Eurasia to supply their goods through port of Riga and at economy rate.
- Bilateral trade between India and Latvia is registered at about $ 150 million in 2016-17 and can be improved sharply in coming years by further promoting export and imports in chemicals, fertilizers, iron & steel, machinery etc and have huge scope in electrical machinery and equipments, vehicles, beverages, iron, steels and pharmaceuticals.
- As a Latvian ambassador, my focus will be to improve people to people connectivity; it will be from students to students, parliament to parliament and businessmen to businessmen. Youth of both countries will play very crucial role for cementing India – Latvia relations in near future and my focus will be to start students exchange program from school to school, university to university, cultural and higher education exchange.
- Cooperation programs in the fields of higher education and on exchange of students, 1233 students from India studied in Latvia’s world-class universities in 2017/18, and I would like to augment the number 10 times by 2025. Latvia offers world-class territory education in medicine, IT, engineering, aviation transport, business studies and many more.
- Latvia has world class UNESCO recognised heritage sites, and as an ambassador, I will my put my efforts to promote Latvia tourism and also promote Cultural and Eco Tourism where India travelers can explore true Latvian culture and spend their quality time in dense woods.