NEWS
Oct 20, 2012
By Gustavs Plato

Over the last several years there were many times where LatCham had the opportunity to work with Ambassador Andrejs Pildegovics. He became an honorary member of the Chamber and often invited us to the Embassy for discussions about business, economics, and cultural events. He was always open to help and work with the Chamber and did so on many occasions.

He served as Latvia's Ambassador to the United States from July 2007-July 2012. During this time he was active in the Visa Waive... Read more »


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Oct 19, 2012
By Gustavs Plato

Raytheon, a LatCham Gold Member, is a global technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.  Raytheon's Senior Manager for Releasability and Technology Transfer is Chris Brodersen.  Chris is a faculty member at Boston University's Metropolitan College. During the Spring 2012 semester, LatCham representatives, Gustav Plato and Rudolf Peksens, assisted Chris in the course on International Business Manage... Read more »


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Aug 27, 2012
By Robert Ceseiko

The Latvian British Chamber of Commerce in the UK (LBCC) and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas (LatCham) signed an International Cooperation Memorandum in August 2012, that is without term limits.  The Memorandum takes effect in September of 2012.

The objective of the Chambers is to promote the their respective and mutual business interests and to develop appropriate international business opportunities - in particular in sectors such as Information Technology, inno... Read more »


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Mar 19, 2011
By Gustav Plato

December 2010 marks the beginning of a new era for Latvian business growth and expansion with the foundation of the Latvian British Chamber of Commerce (LBCC).

Led by board of directors and co-founders; Ms Anete Vignere, Mr Marcis Liors Skadmanis and Ms Datsa Gaile; LBCC opened its doors in Mayfair-London in the winter of 2010. They have already made tremendous strides in promoting their visibility in the UK as well as Latvia.

LBCC is a non-governmental organization.&nb

... Read more »


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Jun 05, 2009
By Julija Filanova

June 2, 2009

Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas and Northern Virginia Regional Commission Opening Ceremony

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas (LatCham) and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) held a ribbon cutting and reception on May 28 to mark the official opening of LatCham’s new headquarters. The Latvian Chamber of Commerce is sharing office space in Fairfax, VA, with NVRC.

LatCham was established in December 2008 t... Read more »


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May 16, 2009
By Gustav Plato

The Supply Chain Venture Forum was held at the Latvian Embassy on May 14 and 15, 2009. Over 50 participants attended the session in Washington DC. The Gallery section of the LatCham website shows pictures of the forum. The presentations from the speakers will be available following the forum.


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May 13, 2009
By Gustav Plato
LatCham, is leading a delegation of Baltic companies to the Port of Baltimore, Maryland.  As part of the Supply Chain Venture Forum, Baltic companies including ports, rail, shipping, logistics, warehousing, and technology companies are heading to Baltimore today to learn more about entering the US market and to meet with Maryland based companies.

Today's visits are scheduled to include the following presentations:

  • Robert Walker, Managing Director, Maryland Departm
... Read more »


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May 12, 2009
By Gustav Plato

The Supply Chain Venture Forum Kicks off on May 13, 2009 at the Latvian Embassy in Washington DC. The third business conference sponsored by the US Baltic Foundation, this is the first conference with the newly formed Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas.

LatCham's participation was led by Board Director, Gustav Plato, CEO of iiGrowth LLC, who volunteered extensive time to the USBF business program as chairman of the 2009 business program.

Many LatCham members a... Read more »


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Apr 20, 2009
By Gustav Plato

LatCham's Supply Chain Venture Forum will have a special treat for its participants. Slow Food's Washington DC Chapter and Clyde's restaurant is teaming with Latvia's famous Chef Martin Ritins to add a unique flavor to the 2009 business program.

Business program participants will be able to experience the unique slow food business model that is rapidly gaining worldwide attention. Attendance is very limited but those unable to participate will be able to view the event and read ab... Read more »


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Mar 29, 2009
By Gustav Plato
The Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas is moving into its new offices at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on April 01, 2009.

The office will be used for National as well as DC Metro office needs.The new address for the LatCham will be the following:

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce in The Americas
3060 Williams Avenue, Suite 510
Fairfax, VA 22031


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Mar 28, 2009
By Gustav Plato
The Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas (LatCham) has launched the first of nine regional chapter web sites today (March 29, 2009).

The Chapter pages will reflect local members and calendars as well as provide more detailed information on chamber events.

The Chapter pages can be accessed by the drop down menu found in the upper right hand corner of the LatCham home page. Scroll to your select chamber and just click go and voila, you are in a new venue. The first C... Read more »


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Mar 27, 2009
By Gustav Plato
Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas (LatCham) Board Director, Gustav Plato, was in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio on March 21 & 22, 2009 respectively, to provide regional business people and other interested individuals an overview of the newly formed Latvian Chamber.

The event in Columbus was hosted by Tali Berzins, who is LatCham’s regional Director for the Ohio/Indiana region, and National board member. On Sunday, the two LatCham National Board members held a similar rou... Read more »


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Mar 13, 2009
By Gustav Plato

The United States Baltic Foundation is a non profit 501c3 organization and a member of LatCham.

The USBF announced today that through its Baltic Good Governance Initiative, it has made a grant to the Latvian Chapter of Transparency International.

Information about the US Baltic Foundation can be found at www.usbaltic.org.

The following is USBF's press release:

WASHINGTON, DC Baltic Good Governance Initiative Program Committee Chairman Ints Silins a... Read more »


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Mar 12, 2009
By Gustav Plato
The Latvian News Agency, LETA, reported today that the Latvian Saeima confirmed the new government. The new government is headed by newly appointed Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era).

The new Dombrovskis government was approved by a vote of 67-21.

As reported earlier, the new government is a coalition of five parties, including New Era, Civic Union, For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK, the People's Party and the Union of Greens and Farmers. These parties have a combi... Read more »


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Mar 03, 2009
By Gustav Plato
The Latvian National News Agency (LETA) and the Latvian newspaper Diena report that Latvian Prime Minister (Ministru Prezidents) nominee, Valdis Dombrovskis is expected to name his cabinet on Wednesday March 04, 2009.


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Feb 26, 2009
By Gustav Plato

Latvian President Valdis Zatlers has nominated New Era (Jaunais Laiks) party member, Valdis Dombrovskis, as prime minister and asked him to form a new government. Mr. Dombrovskis has most recently served as a member of the European Parliament. He also has been the Finance Minister for Latvia and was selected by President Zatlers because of his experience in the international arena, economics, and finance.
Mr. Dombrovskis has also worked in the United States as a Research assistant, Faculty... Read more »


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Feb 21, 2009
By Gustav Plato

LatCham believes it important to share regional perspectives on the economy as well as factors affecting economic growth. Regional perspectives and subsequent discussions offer the greatest potential to ensure that there is a shared understanding of the current economic situation being faced in the region. Only through a shared understanding can a vision and path forward be found.

The following text was translated from Swedish to English from the February 21st Blog of Carl Bildt. H... Read more »


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Feb 20, 2009
By Gustav Plato
The timing of the LatCham business conference, Supply Chain Venture Forum, in May 2009 in Washington DC comes at a time that Latvia is making the world press as a transit point for U.S. military shipments.

The Latvian Defense Ministry Announced that 20-30 trainloads per week will be moving U.S. supplies from Latvia to Afghanistan. Each could carry 100 containers. This supply route is being formed as Kyrgyzstan announced the closure of a U.S. airbase.

The Reuters news agenc... Read more »


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Feb 16, 2009
By Gustavs Plato
LatCham Board Director, Gustav Plato, attended several working group sessions at the Latvian Embassy today in preparation for the Supply Chain Ventures Forum. One discussion was with LatCham member John Freivalds. John, who now lives in Iowa has over 20 years of experience in working with Latvia. John is taking an active role in LatCham's efforts to lead the development of a meaningful conference.

John shared his views on why he joined LatCham as well as what is in it for the Latvia... Read more »


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Feb 16, 2009
By Gustav Plato

The Director of LatCham's Board, Gustavs Plato, announced that Ambassador Ojārs Kalniņš, Latvia's former Ambassador to the United States has been presented an honorary membership to the Latvian Chamber of Commerce.

"We are thrilled to have a person such as Ojārs join as an honorary member. I have had the privilege to work with Ojārs for over 20 years and most recently while he was posted in the United States. He also happened to be my closest Latvian neighbor. Ojārs has dedi... Read more »


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Feb 02, 2009
By Gustav Plato
A LatCham delegation visited with the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC, at Sweden's spectacular architectural icon, the House of Sweden on Friday January 30, 2009.

The purpose for the meeting was to discuss opportunities for LatCham and the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) and Swedish Em... Read more »


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Jan 31, 2009
By Gustavs Plato
The United States and the world are facing the greatest economic crisis of the last 70 years. The U.S. Congress and the White House are working on legislation that would provide over $800 billion in new economic stimulus through a combination of spending and tax cuts.

The hope is that this will create millions of new jobs and also provide tax cuts to American citizens. The bill clearly targets key components of the President Barack Obama's long term investment agenda, which includ... Read more »


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Jan 29, 2009
By Gustavs Plato

LatCham has been actively working to expand the 2009 US Baltic Business Forum. LatCham President, Gustav Plato stated "We are pleased to announce, and also honored, that Republic of Estonia Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, has agreed to be a featured speaker at this year's business program. This is just one of the many exciting announcements that we have planned for this year's business program. The Republic of Estonia has been a very active and helpful participant."

LatCham, has been... Read more »


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Jan 20, 2009
By Gustav Plato

LatCham welcomes the 44th President of the United States, Barack H. Obama. The White House web site simply says, "Change has Come". How appropriate in this time of world crises and challenges.

In the days, months, and years ahead, LatCham looks forward to working with the new administration and its representatives on exciting new opportunities to expand on the "Strategic Partner" concept that has evolved in US and Latvian relations over the last 18 years.

U.S. President... Read more »


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Jan 19, 2009
By Gustav Plato
From Captive Nation to Strategic Partner. That best sums up the evolving relationship between the United States and the Republic of Latvia. This path has continously evolved since the first days of Latvia's reborn independence.

As other US Presidents, President George Bush was very supportive of Latvia and the other Baltic States during his years in office. He helped Latvia and the Baltics continue on their evolutionary path of independence. As President Bush leaves office, and ... Read more »


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Nov 06, 2008
By Gustavs Plato

Gustavs Plato, Director of the Board for the Latvian Chamber of Commerce, and Juris Lazdins, Deputy Director of the Board met with the Latvian Ambassador to the United States and Mexico, Andrejs Pildegovics. The Ambassador was awarded the LatCham certificate of Honorary Membership, in recognition of the exemplary work he has done in the United States since his arrival as Ambassador to promote economic trade and growth between Latvia and the United States.

The Ambassador was the first... Read more »


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Oct 03, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
On October 03, 2008, The United States House of Representatives lawmakers voted 263-171 in favor of a $700 billion dollar bill to purchase distressed assets from financial institutions. The plan also includes up to $152 billion in a combination of tax credits and other financial tools to address the economic downturn faced by US firms.

The House's vote was aligned with the recently approved Senate bill which passed by a vote of 74-25. After the House approved the bill, it was delive... Read more »


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Sep 27, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
According to Financial Times Capital Markets Correspondent, David Oakley, the "Debt-laden eastern European economies are facing downgrades in the coming months as deteriorating credit conditions hit their fragile banking sectors.

The overheating economies of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania and Hungary are under the greatest threat, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s."

Further, Mr. Oakley reports: "Latvia has $26.2bn, equivale... Read more »


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Sep 27, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
On September 25, 2008, the Latvian Central Statistical Bureau released information regarding its survey of visitors to the Republic of Latvia.

The results of the survey show that compared to corresponding quarter of 2007 in the 1st half of 2008 the number of foreign visitors in Latvia increased by 8.7%.

Most of the foreign visitors came from: 33% from Lithuania, 29% - from Estonia, 6% - from Russia, 6% - from Sweden, 5% - from Finland and 4% - from Germany.

The... Read more »


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Sep 25, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Twenty-seven countries currently are in the program. The Republic of Latvia is one of 8 countries that are next in line for joining the VWP.

The Department of State has a detailed description of the Visa Waiver Program at the following address:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/witho... Read more »


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Sep 22, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
During the course of the last week, Swedbank (established in 1820 and the 6th largest Nordic Bank) has issued a number of press releases including changes in staff management, their exposure to the world financial crisis, and a change in their banking name in the three Baltic countries.
On 17-09-2008 Swedbank announces latest change:
Changes in Swedbank's Staff Management
Jan Lilja, who presently is Head of Group Treasury of Swedbank, has been appointed new Chief Risk Officer of S... Read more »


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Sep 20, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
On September 16, 2008, the United States Senate approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 87 by unanimous consent. The resolution congratulates the Republic of Latvia on the 90th anniversary of its declaration of independence.
• Congratulates the people of Latvia on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of that country's November 18, 1918, declaration of independence;
• Commends the Government of Latvia for its success in implementing political and economic reforms, for establishing po... Read more »


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Aug 30, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
According to the Investment and Develpment Agency of Latvia (LIAA) Eurostat (ec.europa.eu/eurostat) reported the latest European tax burdens on June 26th. According to Eurosta's report, EU27 tax revenues in 2006 were at 39.9% of GDP.

The lowest tax burdens in the EU were Romania (28.6%), Slovakia (29.3%) Lithuania (29.7%), and Latvia (30.1%). Countries with the highest tax burden in 2006 were Denmark (49.1%), Sweden (48.9%), Belgium (44.6%), France (44.2%) and Finland (43.5%).
<... Read more »


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Aug 30, 2008
By Gustavs Plato
There will be a LatCham Q&A on SKYPE in December 2008. Stay tuned for further updates. For immediate questions contact Gustav Plato, CEO, iiGrowth LLC at gplato@iigrowth.com.


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