Good prospects for Belarus-Latvia tighter cooperation in science
September 26, 2013
Belarus and Latvia have good prospects for expanding cooperation in science. The opinion was voiced by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Belarus Mihails Popkovs during the Belarusian-Latvian forum Science, Innovations, Investments on 26 September, BelTA has learned.
Built on mutual respect, a friendly, productive dialogue with Belarus is a foreign policy priority for Latvia, said the Ambassador. Belarus-Latvia relations advance positively in various areas starting with trade and economic ties and ending with stronger border cooperation, said Mihails Popkovs.
However, the Ambassador believes the potential of Belarus-Latvia cooperation has not been fully used yet. “The present Belarusian-Latvian forum is of great practical significance for future mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries. Contacts between scientists of Belarus and Latvia, including within the framework of the forum, will help more effectively implement existing arrangements,” said the Ambassador.
Advisor for trade and economic affairs of the Embassy of Belarus in Latvia Vladimir Kozlovsky pointed out that in 2012 Belarus-Latvia trade exceeded $3.4 billion. Within five years the bilateral trade turnover has tripled. Belarus’ export was close to $3.3 billion, with import from Latvia at $145 million. The promising avenues of cooperation between Belarus and Latvia include manufacturing cooperation, science and technology, pharmaceutics, agribusiness. “An increase in the number of Belarusian-Latvian joint ventures testifies to the more vigorous mutually beneficial cooperation. As of August 2013 there were 1,461 enterprises in Latvia with Belarusian capital. Nearly 400 enterprises with Latvian capital have been set up in Belarus,” noted Vladimir Kozlovsky.
A contest of science and technology projects for 2014-2015 will contribute to Belarus-Latvia fruitful cooperation in science. “As many as 79 projects in the area of physics, chemistry, optics, laser technologies, nanotechnologies, telecommunications, and other areas have been suggested for the contest. The best ones will be included into the program of projects for scientific and technical cooperation in 2014-2015, which is supposed to be adopted at the ninth session of the Belarusian-Latvian intergovernmental commission for economic, scientific and technical cooperation. The session will take place in Riga in late October 2013,” said Vladimir Kozlovsky.
The forum Science, Innovations, Investments has gathered representatives of government agencies in charge of science, innovations and education, representatives of research institutions, universities, heads of startup projects, businessmen, heads of enterprises, technology developers and experts, representatives of venture funds, development institutions, public associations, business unions and clubs, business and professional associations of Belarus and Latvia. Participants of the forum are expected to discuss the financing of innovations, international scientific and technical cooperation and technology transfer. Projects in nanoelectronics will be presented in addition to projects on new materials and chemical products, power engineering and energy-effective technologies, environmental protection and recycling, biotechnologies.
The forum is designed to expand and enhance bilateral cooperation in science and innovations, to bring together efforts for the sake of implementing promising high-tech projects, to promote technologies and science-intensive products of both countries to the home markets and foreign ones, to improve innovation infrastructures of Belarus and Latvia.
The forum will last till 27 September. It has been organized by the State Science and Technology Committee, the Belarusian Education Ministry, the Belarusian National Technical University, the Belarusian-Latvian Center for Technology Transfer, and the research and technology park BNTU Polytechnic.