By Daniel Hunter

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green begins a visit to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland today (Monday), focused on developing trading links with the UK and attracting new investment.

The visit includes meetings with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, as well as with Economic Ministers in all four countries, a meeting with Finnish telecoms giant Nokia and two Chamber of Commerce events with UK businesses to promote opportunities for British business in the region.

For part of the visit he will be accompanied by a trade delegation from Yorkshire and the Humber. UK Trade and Investment are taking firms from Yorkshire & the Humber to Riga and Vilnius, for a programme of meetings and events, including Chamber of Commerce events with Lord Green in both cities.

“Many UK firms, particularly SMEs, already have good business links with the Baltic States and Finland, however there is clearly potential to develop and strengthen our economic relationship, which is why I am pleased to be visiting this week," Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said.

“I will be meeting business representatives from all sectors and Ministers in all four countries to showcase Britain’s business excellence.

“In 2012 the eyes of the whole world are on the UK and we are working hard to make sure this year delivers the best possible economic impact for companies across the country. This trade mission and the many others like it are helping us do just that. They are also an important part of our ambition to get another 100,000 UK firms exporting by 2020.”

Firms taking part in the Riga and Vilnius business events include:

Thomson Research Associates — a major producer and supplier of antimicrobial products to a global customer base
Transwaste Recycling & Aggregates Ltd — a waste management company that began trading in 2002.
Worn By — a fashion brand specialising in t-shirts
East Riding Farm Services Ltd and Garth Partnership — companies working in animal health in the pig farming industry.
In Lithuania, Lord Green and Andrius Kubilius will visit the Barclays Technology Centre, one of four IT engineering centres providing support for Barclays business activity worldwide.

Exports of goods and services from the UK to the four countries visited this week totalled more than £3.6bn in 2010, while exports of goods alone rose 16.5% to £2.4bn in 2011.

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