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China-Latvia e-commerce hub launches in Riga

China has set up a joint China-Latvia cross-border e-commerce hub at the Baltic Container Terminal in Latvia’s capital Riga. The launch of the China (Ningbo)-Latvia Cross-border E-commerce Hub was marked by a ceremony at the Baltic Container Terminal in the Latvian capital city Riga last week.

China is Latvia’s biggest Asian trading partner, and Ēriks Eglītis, secretary of state at Latvia’s ministry of economics, said the launch of the hub was a “rewarding moment”.

Noing deepening political relations between the two countries, he forecast that annual trade turnover between China and Latvia, currently valued at €640 million, would quickly grow to more than €1 billion.

Sun Yinglai, charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy in Latvia, indicated that e-commerce could become one of the keys to deepening cooperation between China and Latvia.

“Through cross-border e-commerce platforms, products from Latvia and other Central and Eastern European countries are quickly and directly accessible to the Chinese market and consumers,” he said.

Springboard for trade

Andris Ozols, head of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, aka the LIAA, voiced confidence that the new e-commerce hub will promote business exchange between China and Latvia. With trade turnover growing, an increasing number of Chinese investors consider Latvia as a good place for doing business as they regard the Baltic country as a springboard for trade with Scandinavia, Germany and Russia.

The launch, attended by around 100 people including lawmakers, government officials, entrepreneurs and media representatives, was organised by the Chinese Embassy in Latvia, the LIAA and the Central and Eastern Europe E-Commerce Hub Development Association.

It follows the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) last month between the LIAA and Ningbo Municipal Government on the development of the China (Ningbo)-Latvia Cross-border E-Commerce Hub.

The opening ceremony coincided with the first cargo container from the hub, bearing paints from the Riga Varnish and Color Factory, which was shipped to Ninbo, China.

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