Germany and Latvia: Bilateral relations
Bilateral relations are close and friendly. Germany supported Latvia on its path to joining the EU and Euro-Atlantic structures and helped the country to reform its economy, administration and judiciary. The Latvian side officially describes Germany as a “strategic partner and ally in Europe”. Latvia’s relations with Germany took on a new quality through the country’s accession to the EU and NATO in 2004.
Germany remains one of Latvia’s principal trading partners. Germany is also among the leading direct investors in Latvia. Some 1200 companies with German capital interest are active in Latvia, mainly in the metal processing, service and commercial sectors. The German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce offers German businesses a direct contact partner in Riga. Germany is also a priority partner of Latvia in vocational training and through the Chamber of Commerce provides the Latvian Government with expertise in this area.
Bilateral agreements have been concluded on the protection and promotion of investments (April 1993), air, sea and road transport (April 1993) and avoidance of double taxation (February 1997).
Cultural relations between Latvia and Germany are very close. For historical reasons, the German language is (still) widely used in the country. There is vibrant exchange at both cultural and academic levels. The numerous lively twinning arrangements between German and Latvian cities and municipalities and the partnerships between higher education institutions and schools as well as other cultural and social institutions play an important role in the wide-ranging cultural relations between the two countries. Cultural workers from the two countries in the spheres of music, theatre, dance, art and literature are closely networked and maintain close contact.