On 27 November, the First Baltic-Austrian Economic Forum took place in Vienna, Austria, introducing Austrian entrepreneurs to investment opportunities and the economic environment in the Baltic states, as well as to what Baltic entrepreneurs can offer the Austrian market.

Opening the Economic Forum, Guna Japiņa, Latvian Ambassador to Austria, emphasised that November, which is also known as the month of patriots, is a special month in Latvia; therefore, the first Baltic-Austrian Economic Forum taking place in November is rich with symbolism. In her address, the Ambassador noted the solutions of the Latvian company Mikrotīkls as one of the best-known innovations characterising the Latvian business environment and invited the Latvian business delegation to get acquainted with the offers of the participants of the Forum.  

Raimonds Lapiņš, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics, introduced the audience to the Latvian economy, while Guntis Valters from Latvijas Mobilais Telefons talked about the installation of a traffic surveillance system in Graz, and Piotr Bardadyn from WeAreDots, together with his Austrian partner Christian Stimakovits from CNS Solutions, shared their story of cooperation.

Latvia was also represented at the Forum by Acting Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) Iveta Strupkāja and a number of Latvian entrepreneurs, who are already operating or have recently started operating in the Austrian market. Mobility and transport were the most widely represented sectors. Latvian companies such as Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, Intelligent systems, WeAreDots, Eiropas Dzelceļa līnijas, Phytopresso, Move Digital and Enter took part in the event. The event also offered an opportunity to taste Latvian delicacies – a wide range of Pērnes long chips, Skrīveru saldumi candies, marzipan and other sweets.

Inga Ulmane, Head of the LIAA Representation in Austria, noted that the strategic focus of the Representation is on innovation-enhancing sectors, introducing the Austrian market to Latvia’s offer in biomedicine, ICT, photonics and smart materials, data-intensive bioeconomy as well as smart energy and mobility solutions. Thus far, Austrian companies from the biomedical, smart mobility and ICT sectors have shown the most interest, says Ulmane.

The Forum was organised by the Austrian Federal Chamber of Industry and Commerce in cooperation with the Embassies of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in Vienna, Austria and the LIAA Representative Office in Austria.

The Economic Forum was the final event in the programme of the Latvian Business Delegation, which started on 23 November with participation in the International Mobility Days and visits to local mobility, transport and smart city companies, as well as a reception at the Embassy of Latvia in Austria. Latvia also had a great opportunity to attend the premiere of Viesturs Kairišs’ film January (2022) at Vienna Theatre as part of the Nordic Film Festival. In Salzburg, the delegation met with the Honorary Consul of Latvia, Dr Karl Winding and the Latvian diaspora in Austria.

Pirmais Baltijas-Austrijas ekonomikas forums