To spur trade connectivity between the Central Asian and Baltic markets, the United States Agency for International Development is conducting a horticulture trade mission and study tour to Latvia and Lithuania during the week of April 9-14, 2018. The visit began with an opening ceremony on April 9, in Riga, Latvia.
The 50-member delegation of government officials, horticultural producers, exporters and transport and logistics companies from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will explore opportunities to form business ties with Baltic companies.
Ryder Rogers, USAID Central Asia, Senior Regional Trade Adviser noted that “The Baltic countries offer a great opportunity for Central Asian firms to expand to a new region, which is also a gateway to the broader European market. The experience of countries like Latvia and Lithuania can also provide valuable lessons to Central Asian governments and business.”
The Latvian portion of the trade mission will include a business forum with ‘matchmaking’ opportunities for Central Asian and Latvian firms and visits to fruit and vegetable producers, ports, warehouses and logistics centers for storage and cargo processing. The tour will continue in Lithuania and include meetings with government officials, additional fruit and vegetable producers, processors, distributors and retailers.
This trade mission and study tour supports the C5+1 Diplomatic platform for cooperation between the five Central Asian countries and the United States. Two priority areas for cooperation within the C5+1 framework are 1) Increasing the competitiveness of Central Asia’s horticulture sector, and 2) transport corridor development. These efforts are intended to support broad-based economic growth while enhancing regional trade connectivity.