The official mission to Riga from 13 to 15 March 2023 coincided with the state visit of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who participated in the mission to Latvia alongside the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot.

Business sectors critical to fostering a digital and sustainable economy were at the centre of the mission organised by the Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation, and the Embassy of Luxembourg in Warsaw.

Jenny Hällen Hedberg, Luxinnovation, speaks about foreign direct investment in Luxembourg“I must commend the smooth collaboration between the various organisers that led to the successful mission to Latvia. The programme was well-structured and enabled constructive discussions between several industry professionals,” says Ms Hällen Hedberg, who moderated the Sustainability in the Digital Age panel discussion that sparked conversations related to the metaverse, manufacturing and construction.

“We had a very active and dynamic panel, with a lot of participation from the audience. We discussed how digital evolution can help advance sustainability and how governments and businesses can also highlight sustainability issues and accelerate its development,” she adds.

Over 90 B2B meetings during mission to Latvia

The business forum, which attracted more than 120 attendees, many of whom were from Latvia, demonstrates a keen interest in Luxembourg. Prior to the mission, business-to-business meeting were scheduled between interested companies from both sides and around 90 B2B meeting eventually took place during the mission.

“We made several interesting connections with SMEs and larger companies in the wood, healthtech, and ICT sectors, as well as a couple of Latvian unicorns. Companies like Greentech Latvia, Gateway Latvia, Techhub Riga, Startin Latvia, Vefresh, and Metacity Riga could be interesting collaboration partners,” explains Ms Hällen Hedberg.

Several Latvian and Luxembourg companies participated in a dedicated wood sector forum during the mission to Latvia, where they explored areas for collaboration and discussed business interests and offerings from both sides.

The focus on the wood sector is important in the context of the trip as wood and wood products represent a significant share of Latvia’s exports, and at the same time, the use of sustainable wood products as a construction material and the cascading use of wood are some forestry measures identified in Luxembourg’s Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan from 2021 to 2030.

Opportunities in tech and digitalisation

In Luxembourg, digital transformation and the adoption of innovative digital technologies in industry are hot topics. Apart from being a central theme throughout the mission, digital technology adoption is a major building block in Luxembourg’s long-term roadmap toward a more competitive and sustainable economy, which is supported by several innovative programmes and state funding.

The Fit 4 Start accelerator programme, which targets start-ups with cutting-edge technologies at the heart of their operations, is one example. Two Latvian companies, Warden Machinery and 2AM, are currently enrolled under this programme, which includes personalised and intensive coaching sessions over several months and up to €150,000 in financial support to eligible enterprises.

“The global wave of digital transformation and disruptive technologies can unlock multiple opportunities for industries and start-ups are not left out of this move. The enthusiasm of startup associations we interacted with in Latvia was palpable and we are delighted to assist and share our expertise with them. I hope to meet some of these companies and associations again during the ICT Spring, a major tech event taking place in Luxembourg from 29 to 30 June 2023,” adds Ms Hällen Hedberg. The ICT Spring conference serves as a central meeting point for global tech giants, attracting participants from over 72 nations.

Photo credit: SIP/MECO

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