Welcome to the Consulate General of The Republic of Latvia to Lebanon

The Consulate General of Latvia in Beirut represents the Republic of Latvia in Lebanon and covers the 5 Boroughs of Beirut, Zahle, North of Lebanon, the South of Lebanon, and the Mont Lebanon. Its broad mission is to promote Latvian interests in Lebanon and to provide assistance to Latvians visiting Lebanon and residents. The Consulate seeks to assist in fostering broader knowledge in Lebanon about Latvia and to facilitate increased business, educational, and cultural relations between Lebanon and Latvia - one of the European Union's fastest growing and historically and culturally interesting nations.

Things you should know about Riga

  • Riga is the largest city in the three Baltic States
  • There are three major ports in Latvia - Liepaja, Riga and Ventspils, as well as seven smaller ports - Skulte, Mersrags, Salacgriva, Pavilosta, Roja, Lielupe and Engure, which are situated along the entire coastline of Latvia.
  • Riga is Europe's capital of art nouveau architecture
  • Riga is one of the greenest city in the region
  • Historic center in Riga is included in the UNESCO world heritage list
  • Riga , ranked as the best large European city for cost effectiveness by FDI Magazine
 
Largest cities or towns of Latvia

Riga

Rank Name Pop.

Liepāja

1 Riga 705,703
2 Daugavpils 103,053
3 Liepāja 83,884
4 Jelgava 64,748
5 Jūrmala 56,147

Daugavpils

6 Ventspils 42,657

Jelgava

7 Rēzekne 34,912
8 Valmiera 27,217
9 Jēkabpils 26,378
10 Ogre 26,167

Latvian News 1-12-2016

  • Researcher: 2,500 containers from China annually ? the best Latvia can expect More than 99% of Chinese exports are transported to Europe by sea. More than ten million cargo containers worth more than EUR 350 billion were transported by sea last year. Average transportation costs for a single container in the last seven years have been equal to approximately USD 1,185. Last year, costs declined to EUR 629 per container. The reason for that is the recent increase in the number of cargo shops ? the order that was made before the crisis, CERTUS think tank?s researcher Sergejs Gubins told Delfi. «As a comparison ? 50,000 containers were moved from China to Europe by rail last year. It is a drop of water in the sea. It is a small amount even for Latvia?s transit industry ? in 2015 alone Riga Freeport transshipped 335,000 containers. Considering the cost of transporting a single container from China to Germany?s Duisburg logistics center by rail is USD 2,400, the small volume is no surprise,» ? said Gubins. «In addition, half of containers that are transported from China to Europe by rail are sent back to China by sea. Latvia?s geographical location allows the country to attract cargoes to its ports to be sent further to Scandinavia. Exports to Sweden and Norway form 3% of China?s total export volume to Europe. Another 2% of exports are sent to Denmark. With that, we have to conclude that Latvia can expect 2,500 containers annually in the best case scenario. Not much. It should be clear that we may not see larger cargo increase at current prices,» ? the researcher added. According to him, China?s New Silk Road initiative is aimed at the development of railway transports from Asia to Europe; its goal is to reduce transport costs in order to increase cargo transport efficiency and volumes. China claims it is prepared to invest in transport infrastructure. Why is this necessary for China if it is cheaper to use ships? Because it is necessary to enhance economic development in western provinces, which do not have exit to the sea and whose investments in production are small. [?] According to OECD studies, in 15-35 years cargo turnover by rail between China and Europe could reach one million containers annually. Latvia can expect 50,000 containers sent to Scandinavia. Fortunately, the possibility of Russia blocking Latvian ports is low, because railway transports compete with marine transports. This means if Russia decides to divert Chinese cargoes to its ports, it may end up without cargoes, which will likely be sent around Russia (through Caucasus or Turkey, using TRACECA transport corridor). This is where Latvia?s and Russia?s economic interests coincide, said the researcher, adding that it is unlikely that the volume of Chinese cargoes to Latvia is not likely to grow in the near future.
  • Latvia?s GDP experiences the weakest growth among Baltic States In Q3 2016, as compared to Q2, gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices increased by 0.2 %, according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data. In Q3, as compared to the corresponding period of 2015, GDP grew by 0.3 % according to both ? seasonally and calendar adjusted data, as well as non-adjusted data. After receiving and analysing the detailed data of all sectors regarding Q3, it has been established that the volume of GDP growth has been lower than estimated a month before, according to the latest data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. In Q3, GDP at current prices amounted to EUR 6.4 billion, whereas at constant prices of 2010 ? to EUR 5.6 billion. In Q3 2016, as compared to Q3 2015, the manufacturing sector grew by 4 %. Growth was recorded in all of the largest manufacturing sub-sectors. In Q3 2016, as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, the construction production volume decreased by 22 %. Retail trade witnessed overall growth of 1 % in Q3 2016, of which retail trade in food products decreased by 2 %, whereas retail trade in non-food products increased by 3 %. Wholesale increased by 6 % during the respective period, while wholesale, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles indicated a drop of 3 %. In Q3 2016, as compared to Q3 2015, the transportation and storage sector witnessed a drop of 2 %. Passenger traffic increased by 5 %, freight traffic dropped by 7 %. Significant growth (of 11 %) was recorded in accommodation and food service activities, of which 14 % in accommodation services and 9 % in food services. GDP growth was facilitated by taxes on products, which grew by 4 % in Q3 2016 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. In Q3 2016, final consumption expenditure rose by 3 %. That was influenced by a 3.2 % increase in private final consumption, where household expenditure on transport (expenditure on public transport, purchase and exploitation of transport vehicles) grew by 2 %, on recreation and culture ? by 5 %, while expenditures on restaurants and hotels grew by 9 %. Expenditure on food has remained at the level of the previous year, while expenditure on housing decreased by 3 %. Final consumption of households was affected by the drop in consumer prices on transport and housing, household equipment and routine household maintenance, as well as the increase in the income of households. Government final consumption grew by 2 %. Gross fixed capital formation witnessed a rapid decrease for the third quarter in a row, dropping by 26 % in Q3 2016, as compared to the corresponding period of 2015. A drop was recorded in all of the fixed capital groups: investment in equipment and machinery decreased by 12 %, in intellectual property ? by 30 %, whereas in dwellings and other buildings and structures ? by 39 %. Exports of goods and services have grown by 2 % in Q3, whereas imports have increased by 1 %. Although it has to be noted that the respective increase was witnessed due to a drop in prices. The growth in exports had a positive impact on the GDP in the amount of 1.4 percentage points, whereas imports decreased the total GDP by 0.4 percentage points. According to the flash estimate data of Estonia and Lithuania for Q3, the GDP of Lithuania has grown by 1.7 %, while the GDP of Estonia has increased by 1.1 %.
  • Restrictions for alimony avoiders and other decisions viewed by the Saeima On Thursday, 1 December, the Saeima will decide on the new Subsistence Guarantee Fund Law. This law states that driving rights can be revoked for alimony avoiders. In the final reading, the Saeima will view amendments to the Electronic Mass Media Law. Members of the parliament admitted these amendments as urgent. It is proposed to ensure only people eligible to be provided with access to official secrets are allowed to become members of the National Electronic Media Council. In the third reading, members of the Saeima will view amendments to the International Assistance Law. Changes provide for the allocation of state funded social rehabilitation for civil experts after their return from international missions, as reported by Saeima?s press-service. The parliament will also have to decide on amendments to the Medical Law, which will introduce multiple changes to established regulations. Deputies will decide in the second reading as to whether or not it is necessary to establish criminal liability with added deprivation of freedom for up to four years for people who breach the restrictions for citizens and non-citizens of Latvia to undergo service in foreign armies, police and security institutions. In addition, members of the parliament will view amendments with which it is planned to clarify legal relations in diplomatic and consular service. The agenda also includes amendments that are intended to increase bonus pay for soldiers to 50% of their monthly wage instead of the current 30%. Also in the second reading, deputies will view amendments to the Aircraft Passenger Data Processing Law. Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee will ask the Saeima to add Asylum Law amendments, which provide changes to the benefit payment order to refugees and alternative status holders, to the meeting?s agenda. Members of the parliament will also decide on the submission of multiple new legal drafts to committees for review. Among them is the new Copyrights Collective Management Law draft and amendments to the Copyrights Law.