29 DECEMBER, 2016

Rydges CBD, 186 Exhibition St, Melbourne

8:00 – 9:00 Welcome and registration
9:00 – 9:20


  • Kristīne Saulītis - Chairperson of the Latvian Federation of Australia and New Zealand
  • Jānis Kukainis - Chairman of the World Federation of Free Latvians
9:20 - 10:15

Leaders Forum/Keynote speakers: Latvia's vision for growth and building ties with Asia Pacific region

  • Dace Melbārde - Latvian Minister of Culture ( presentation )
  • Egils Levits - Political scientist, Lawyer and Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union 
  • Atis Sjanīts - Latvia’s Ambassador-at-Large for the Diaspora
 Moderator: Valda Liepiņa - Head of Unit, English at European Commission, Directorate General for Translation
10:15 - 10:30 Coffee break
10:30 - 12:00

Growth and innovation in action: Getting it done in and from Latvia

  • Mārtiņš Lācis - Head of Marketing, Sales, Purchasing and Logistics at Latvijas Finieris 
  • Jānis Ošlejs - CEO/Founder at Primekss SIA ( presentation )
  • Pēteris Stupāns - Founder and MD at Nordplay SIA ( presentation )
  • Līga Upeslāce-Kukaine - Sales and Marketing Manager at Groglass ( presentation )
  • Arnis Kākulis - AECOM Regional Director in Baltic States ( presentation )
 Moderator: Matīss Kukainis - Partner - Attorney at Law at Spigulis & Kukainis
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:15

Business help desk: Asia Pacific and Latvia

  • Peter McKenna - Co-founder and managing director of Venturenauts Pty Ltd (venturenauts.com) and Vice President of the Australia-ASEAN Business Council (australia-aseanbc.org) ( presentation )
  • Valdis Tomanis – Latvia’s Honorary Consul in South Australia, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Australia president, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry representative in Australia 
  • Lāsma Līdaka - Head of the Representative Office in Singapore at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia ( presentation )
  • Dāvids Dārziņš - Australian Baltic Chamber of Commerce 
  • Matiss Kukainis - Partner - Attorney at Law at Spigulis & Kukainis ( presentation )
 Moderator: Vanda Dauksta - Lecturer Business and Management Faculty, Stockholm School of Economics
14:15 - 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 - 15:45

Business in Asia: Practical Considerations

  • Ilona Misa – Executive General Manager Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Ixom (formally Orica Chemicals) (presentation)
  • Olavs Ritenis - CEO of Ventures International - Capital Raising (Singapore & Australia), Investor Dealflow, Investment Opportunities ( presentation )
  • Inga Lidums – Owner at identify. brand. package. publish., Co – owner at Lobethal Road Wines ( presentation )
  • Pēteris Daliņš – General Manager, Enterprise Solutions at Asahi Beverages ( presentation )
Moderator: Iveta Samulis
15:45 - 16:15 Key conclusions by Valda Liepiņa (summary) 
16:15 – 17:15 Happy Hour and networking
* Time, topics, and speakers are subject to change. Forum language: English.

30 DECEMBER, 2016

Technical tours. An opportunity for case study insights, networking interaction with other attendees and informative presentations. 

Regardless of your field of work, you can never do without networking.  In this context, the second day of the forum will provide an opportunity for participants to meet, get acquainted and talk in an informal setting.

We have chosen to go to the Yarra Valley, where you will visit and get to know the two businesses. Latvia has great potential with its untapped tourism markets and gastronomy, based on a clean, green image.  The Yarra Valley is a wonderful, living example of how to develop and create an entire region.  However, all this happens only through co-ordinated efforts and partnerships between public and private stakeholders.

 9:00                Pick up from Rydges CBD

15:30              Drop off in Melbourne CBD

Over lunch, we will therefore have the opportunity to hear from the following:

  • One of the owners of the De Bortoli winery will present insights into their journey from commencement of a vineyard to the thriving business that they are today.
  • Luigi Zarro, Yarra Ranges Council for Economic Development. Luigi will present on regional economic growth in the Yarra Valley, and how this process has been supported, particularly by local government.
  • Marketing specialist, Angela McMahon will present on the critical importance of marketing and branding. 

At the end of both days, we have organized buses, which Forum participants can use to get to other events in St Kilda (folk dancing and choir concert).

26 - 31 December, 2016

56th Australian latvian arts festival, Melbourne

The World Latvian Economics and Innovation Forum will be held for the first time in Australia, parallel with 56th Australian Latvian Cultural Festival.

From 26th to 31st December 2016 the 56th Australian Latvian Arts Festival will be held in Melbourne and will feature music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and many other opportunities to enjoy the riches of Latvian culture and the hospitality of the Latvian community.

 For full calendar of events and tickets please visit: www.alkd.org.au

© PBLA 2016