Latvian Cooperation with France
Areas of co-operation
One of the most important bilateral co-operation projects is the programme of cultural, scientific, technological and institutional co-operation between Latvia and France for 2003-2005. The program was signed in Riga, on 3 April, 2003, during the visit of Noelle Lenoir, the French Minister-Delegate for European Affairs.
Economic co-operation between Latvia and France has significant scope for development. A dialogue has been initiated with the French Business Confederation MEDEF. (In December 2000, a delegation of representatives of large enterprises visited Riga, organised by R. Robinet-Duffo , President of MEDEF's Baltic States Committee). French pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies have opened their branches in Latvia. The exports of French foodstuffs to Latvia are also growing, while the export volume of French automotive industry has decreased, although French cars (mainly of Citroen brand) comprise 20% of all new cars sold in Latvia.
According to data from the Central Statistics Bureau of the Republic of Latvia, the total volume of bilateral trade between Latvia and France has been gradually increasing since 1994. In the first half of 2003, Latvia's exports to France totalled USD 30,245,018, while French imports to Latvia were valued at USD 64,623,843. Comparison of trade volumes with other countries shows that in this period the volume of Latvia's exports to France ranked 12th, accounting for 2.2% of Latvia's total export volume, while the volume of imports from France to Latvia also ranked in 12th position, accounting for 2.7% of Latvia’s total import volume. Latvia's trade balance with France is negative; its value is USD -34,378,825.
Latvia’s key export commodities to France in the respective period were wood and articles of wood (USD 12.01 million or 39.7% of the total export volume to France), miscellaneous manufactured articles (USD 7.3 million or 24.13%), machines and mechanical appliances, electric equipment (USD 2.71 million or 8.95%) and textiles and textile articles (USD 5.0 million or 16.5%). Latvia’s main imports from France were products of chemical and allied industries (USD 15.72 million or 24.33% of total French imports in Latvia), transport vehicles (USD 13.0 million or 20.12%), machines and mechanical appliances, electric equipment (USD 13.42 million or 20.77%), prepared foodstuffs (USD 5.76 million or 8.91%), textiles and textile articles (USD 3.92 million or 6.06%) and metals and metal articles (USD 3.23 million or 5.0%).…
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