The China (Ningbo)-Latvia Cross-border E-commerce Hub was officially launched in Riga on May 20.
The hub is expected to promote trade and investment between China and Latvia. State secretary of the Ministry of Economics Eriks Eglitis forecast at the opening ceremony that economic cooperation between the two countries could reach €1bn in the coming years, according to a statement from the agency.
“E-commerce has become an important part of the international economy for the last 10 years, and Latvia with its strategic location is able to serve the development of cross-border e-commerce between China and Europe,” the head of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, Andris Ozols, said at the opening ceremony at the Baltic Container Terminal in Riga.
“I also see an opportunity here for Latvian companies to expand their market opportunities to China, together with the establishment of the centre by increasing trade volumes and establishing wider cooperation with countries and trading companies.”
During the opening ceremony of the e-commerce hub, the first cargo container from the hub, bearing paints from the Riga Varnish and Color Factory was shipped to Ninbo, China.
The opening of the hub followed swiftly on the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the LIAA and Ninbo municipality in China at the ninth Central and Eastern European Countries and China (16 + 1) Business Forum in Dubrovnik.
Eglitis noted in his address that Ninbo plays an important role in China in developing cross-border e-commerce, with significant experience in this field.
Another agreement was signed between the chairman of the board of the e-commerce hub’s operating company, Qin Gang, and Dainius Liulys, chairman of Pigu Latvia which owns the 220.lv online store, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the Baltic states.
Liulys called the centre an “important turning point for the industry”. “Considering that every year the number of customers on the Internet grows, the Chinese-Latvian e-commerce centre will open up new strategic trade routes, thus facilitating and making the development of Internet trade more attractive not only on the Latvian but also on the Baltic level,” he said. “I am convinced that Latvia, due to its geographical location, is the reason to become an important link in the logistics chain, which means more opportunities not only for consumers, but also for the Latvian economy. ”