- 10 July 2016, the delegation of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Latvia (LU) headed by the dean of the Faculty Ms Dace Balode participated in the Forum on Development of Tibet, China. The forum was attended by academics, politicians and journalists from 64 countries around the globe, as well as the same number of Chinese representatives.

Prof. Laima Geikina, participating in the panel devoted to the economic development, eradication of poverty and preserving the culture of Tibet, shared her views on issues of human ecology within the context of rapid economic development. Doc. Elizabete Taivāne participated in the forum with the expert article on Tibetan Buddhism in context of Christianity, supporting the inter-religion dialogue as a significant element for mutual understanding between different cultures.

At the Forum the LU delegation stressed the importance of strengthening the relations between Latvia and China bilaterally and within the format of Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (16+1) for closer cooperation in the field of education, as well as informed that Latvia will host the 5th 16+1 Meeting of the Heads of Government in Riga, in November of 2016.

LU representatives highlighted the need for Latvia to broaden its expertise and to participate into international research in order to develop knowledge and awareness about Tibet, its culture and religion. They expressed confidence that the contacts established during the Forum will facilitate cooperation between the academics of Latvia, China and other countries in research of Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism in China in general.

The Faculty of Theology has started to develop contacts with Chinese universities in order to cooperate in the field of religious studies with the support of the Embassy of China in Latvia.

The Faculty of Theology is the only entity in Latvia that has an academic program for religious studies and is actively involved in supporting the inter-religion dialogue in our country.