State Visit to Latvia on 26-27 March 2014
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will be paying a state visit to Latvia on 26-27 March 2014 at the invitation of President Andris Bērziņš. The Swedish Government will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. The King and Queen paid a State Visit to Latvia in 1992 and in 2005 they received then President Vaira Vīke-Freiberga on a State Visit to Sweden.
The purpose of the visit is to confirm and further strengthen the excellent relations between Sweden and Latvia in culture, politics and business.
In connection with the State Visit, President of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Jens Spendrup, will lead a Swedish business delegation comprised of around 20 companies and organisations with business interests in Latvia.
Media representatives need special accreditation from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to cover the State Visit to Latvia. The last day to apply for accreditation is 12 March.
From the preliminary programme:
Wednesday 26 March
During the morning, an official welcome ceremony will be held at the presidential palace. The welcome ceremony will be followed by a discussion between the King and Queen and the President and First Lady as well as official talks.
The King and Queen will join the President and First Lady in placing a wreath at the Freedom Monument, which was raised in memory of the soldiers killed during the Latvian war of independence (1918-1920) and serves as a symbol of Latvia's independence and sovereignty.
The King and Queen will visit the Occupation Museum, which was founded in 1993 to exhibit objects and archive documents, and educate the general public about the occupation of Latvia between 1940 and 1991.
The Speaker of the Parliament, Solvita Āboltiņa, will host the King and the business delegation for lunch at the Parliament.
Following the lunch, the King and the President will participate in the opening of a Swedish-Latvian business forum aimed at improving cooperation between companies and strengthening competitiveness in the Baltic Sea region. The Latvian Minister for Economics will also participate in the forum along with a large number of business leaders in the banking, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors.
The King and Queen will meet the Swedish media at the Swedish Embassy in the afternoon.
In the evening the President and First Lady will host a banquet at the presidential palace.
Thursday 27 March
In the morning, the King will meet with Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.
In the morning, the Queen will visit Rīga Stradiņš University, where she will meet Swedish students. The university holds courses in medicine and healthcare and the research conducted there particularly targets areas of major benefit to society, such as rehabilitation and public healthcare.
The Queen will also visit the exhibition "1914" at Arsenāls, which is part of Latvia's National Museum. The exhibition "1914" is one of the projects under Riga's year as European Capital of Culture. The visual arts exhibition is about how World War I has affected historical, social and cultural development in Europe.
In the morning the King will visit two companies: Swedish- owned Plockmatic and Latvian company GroGlass.
In the afternoon, the Queen will visit the Salvation Army. The Queen will visit two centres, one of which is a day-centre for children, Patverum, where children from vulnerable families are given help with their homework, receive lunch and are able to play games and engage in other activities after school. The other is Avotu Centrs, whose staff conduct home visits to less privileged people and people with disabilities and offer practical help with food and clothing and organise social activities.
The King will visit the Riga School of Economics, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The Riga School of Economics was founded in 1994 by the Stockholm School of Economics with support from the Swedish Government which funds a scholarship programme for students from countries in the Eastern Partnership. In connection with the visit, a seminar will be held at the School of Economics focusing on Latvia's ten years in the EU and the Eastern Partnership. The Swedish and Latvian foreign ministers will take part in the seminar.
In the evening, the King and Queen will host a reciprocal dinner at Riga Bourse, the city's former stock exchange built in middle of the nineteenth century. Riga Bourse now houses a museum for foreign and domestic art and is part of Latvia's National Museum.