LACC Tri-State [NY-NJ-CT] Region meeting in New York City – April 13, 2023

On April 13, 2023, the Tri-State Region of the LACC held its inaugural meeting at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations in New York City. Seventeen [17] businesspeople and professionals convened at the Latvian UN to participate. It is interesting to note that an Estonian American businessperson from NYC who uses a Latvia manufacturer was in attendance. An attendee from Merrill Lynch was interested in learning more about Latvian businesses and their relationships with US businesses. LACC Board member Ivars Slokenbergs was also introduced as an attendee.

The Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations, Andrejs Pildegovics, welcomed the guests. He emphasized that the NYC metropolitan area is a good area for fostering ties between businesses from Latvia and the US, mentioning that Martin Gauss, President of AirBaltic, is attending a conference in NYC. Latvian businesspeople from Latvia visiting NYC can also be invited to speak at Tri-State LACC events. He thanked the LACC for organizing the event and encouraged the attendees to support the LACC.

Via Zoom connection with Washington D.C., Gints Zadraks, Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the U.S.A., gave an overview of how the Embassy can assist businesses from America and Latvia in making the right connections. He gave an overview of Latvia’s main economic strengths and diverse business areas. Gints also noted that the Embassy works closely with Latvian Investment Agency, LIAA, which is more involved with the practical steps to facilitate business relationships. LIAA contact information is available on the Embassy website.

LIAA US representative Reinis Sipols followed with a brief PowerPoint presentation entitled “LATVIA, Gateway to Europe.” It was interesting to hear that Latvia is appealing as an excellent geographic base to enter the broader EU market. Finally, LACC Tri-State Regional Director John [Jānis] Kancans informed the group about the benefits they could enjoy by becoming members of the LACC. The many questions posed by the audience during the presentations showed that the audience was engaged.

At the end of the presentations, the attendees were each asked to stand, state their names, and briefly identify their business or profession. For an hour afterward, the guests stayed for wine and hors d’oeuvres. It provided an informal and friendly atmosphere for everyone to get to know each other.