Latvia in Review

The most important in Latvia

Issue 14

Patriot Week Celebrated

During the week from November 11 to 18, the Latvian Foreign Ministry celebrated Patriot Week in collaboration with the Latvian Institute, calling on Latvians worldwide to help celebrate Lāčplēša (Veterans’) Day and Latvian Independence Day. Articles and photographs highlighting the history of Latvia and the patriotism of people today are available at and The materials are also available in Latvian.
Patriot Week encourages young Latvians living abroad to explore the origins of the Latvian state, to increase pride in their sense of belonging to Latvia, and to encourage Latvians abroad to celebrate Latvian holidays in their host countries.


Prince Edward Visits Latvia


His Royal Highness Prince Edward, duke of Essex, visited Latvia in November to take part in the British Week programme, which was held in Rīga this year from November 28 to December 2. The aim of the prince’s visit was to popularise an awards programme that was created by his father, the duke of Edinburgh, to educate and empower young people all around the world. This year the programme celebrated its 10th anniversary in Latvia, and so in a ceremony at the House of Blackheads on Tuesday, November 29, Prince Edward presented the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to ten schoolchildren from Latvia. The award has been presented annually since 1958.
British Week this year featured a lecture on British education and the benefits of non-academic learning, a fashion show featuring popular British bands, a concert and master class run by the British jazz pianist, composer and producer Bill Laurence, and a programme of short films that won awards at the British Academy Film Awards. The emphasis this year was on the fact that even after Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, the UK wishes to strengthen its partnership with Latvia, according to The Baltic Course Website. A trade an investment conference was held on December 2 to discuss the meaning of Brexit for businesspeople and what the public sector can do to promote business exchanges, among other topics.

Parliament Approves 2017 Budget

Latvia’s Parliament, the Saeima, approved Latvia’s 2007 national budget on Monday, November 28, forecasting budget revenues of EUR 8.066 billion and expenditures of EUR 8.367 billion next year. For more information, click here.


Latvia Adopts Innovative Start-Up Law

Latvia is becoming an even more attractive country for start-ups, as the Latvian Parliament, the Saeima, has just approved a new and special tax regime – one that has no equal in Europe and will, hopefully, double venture capital investment in new Latvian start-ups. The law is seen as part of a wider push to make Latvia attractive for such companies. The law was passed almost unanimously and will take effect on January 1, 2017.


Rīga to Become One of Europe’s Smartest Cities

A new technology that can control a city’s infrastructure is currently being tested in Rīga, and hopefully that will make it possible to turn the Latvian capital city into one of the smartest cities in Europe. This announcement was made by the Latvian telecoms company Lattelecom during the Digital Freedom Festival. That is a global technology, policy, start-up and lifestyle festival that gathers together more than 1,000 new technology and start-up entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors, experts, journalists and students from all over the world in Rīga, and this year it ran from November 27-29.
The new technology is wireless and has been specifically adapted to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), thus making it possible for the city’s infrastructure to be controlled remotely and automatically. “This means that all of the devices will be connected in a single network, which means that there will be no need to manually read water meters, look for damages in pipeline systems, control city lights, leave them on even when streets are empty, or remove trash from containers before they are full,” explains Lattelecom’s chief corporate development officer, Kerli Gabriloviča. The IoT technology is currently being tested in Rīga and other cities in the country.

Jūrmala Recognised as European City of Sports 2017

The seaside jewel of Latvia, Jūrmala, offers golden sand beaches, fresh air, green surroundings and a well-developed infrastructure for sports. This has not gone unnoticed, and the European Capital and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES) has recognised the resort town as the European City of Sports for 2017! Jūrmala is proud of a recently built multifunctional sports hall, a new beach centre for the development of summer sports, a reconstructed stadium, and the ability to host several European Volleyball Federation championships in recent years.


Gourmands, Wine Experts Celebrate in Rīga

Gourmands and wine experts from all over the world gathered in Rīga for the annual “Rīga Wine & Champagne” festival in late November, which is the largest wine and champagne festivals in the Baltic States. Launched back in 2012, the festival is traditionally held twice each year, once in the spring, once in autumn, offering a wide programme of wine tastings, master classes and dinner events. This time the programme included a tasting of the world’s top 100 wines from the “Wine of the Year” competition, a meeting with Michael Schuster, one of the world’s leading wine experts, a Dom Pérignon banquet at the renowned Vincents Restaurant, with Raimonds Tomsons, the world’s 7th best wine expert, demonstrating the diversity of champagne. An innovation in this year’s festival was a Burgundy Feast that commemorates the end of the harvest in France each year.

Latvijas Banka Issues a Collector Coin Janis Rozentāls


Well-known for its magnificent coins, Latvijas Banka, the central bank of Latvia, has issued a colourful 5 euro silver collector coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the prominent Latvian painter Janis Rozentāls (1866–1916). This unique coin depicts his popular painting "The Princess and the Monkey" – a lavishly dressed young woman and a monkey hanging on to her string of beads, outlined on an ornamental background. The obverse of the coin imitates the back of the painting divided into four fields and bears a facsimile signature of Janis Rozentāls and the seal of the Latvian National Museum of Art.

The collector coin "Janis Rozentāls" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as they are in fact works of art and are in special demand among coin collectors and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is 7 000.

See more here.

Latvian Institute
The Latvian Institute promotes knowledge about Latvia abroad. It produces informative materials and works closely with international media professionals in developing a wide variety of communications projects.

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