Belarus sees Latvia as an exit to the sea
Last week, from 2 October through 4 October, the CEO of the Freeport of Riga Ansis Zeltiņš, employees of the Freeport of Riga Authority and port companies represented the Port of Riga during the annual Belarusian Transport Week. FRA says Belarus is one of the current strategic target markets, where Latvijas Dzelzceļš AS together with the Ministry of Transport and other industry representatives are working hard to attract freight traffic and promote cooperation. The Port of Riga has set out clear objectives for the Belarusian market and currently has a good opportunity to compete for Belarusian cargo flows.
Meanwhile, president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko commented on the cooperation with Latvia: “Together we can make a profit”. When discussing candidates for the new Ambassador of Belarus to Latvia, the president of the neighbouring country was straightforward as always: “Belarus sees Latvia as an exit to the sea. If Latvia seeks ways of cooperation, the effect will not be insignificant”.
Already today we see cooperation between Latvia and Belarus in the transport sector significantly increasing. The volume of Belarusian freight by railroad up to the end of August this year has increased by more than 60%. Belarusian freight that must be transported to Latvian ports keeps both the railway and ports busy.
At the opening of the Belarusian Transport Week and the International Exhibition of Transport & Logistics, Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis said: “Latvia and Belarus are connected through good and constructive neighbourly relations. Moreover, we have common priorities for further development and Belarus is a crucial cooperation partner with considerable experience in international transport. During the Belarusian Transport Week, both ports and railway, as well as transport and logistics companies were represented at the Transport & Logistics Exhibition to encourage the implementation of political declarations in real life.”
“The annual Exhibition of Transport & Logistics in Minsk is an effective platform to create new contacts, promote the Port of Riga and together with other industry representatives demonstrate opportunities of the Latvian transit corridor and encourage freight traffic between Belarus and the Port of Riga,” Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Freeport of Riga commented on the international exhibition.
In Minsk, Latvia is represented by a vast number of businesses. This year turnover of the Belarusian transport sector will reach around 4 billion dollars and Latvian logistics companies are also seeking to get their share of the success.
Valdis Andersons, Member of the Board of the port company Riga Container Terminal, explains: “Just like any other player in Latvian ports, our company is also interested in the Belarusian market. Belarus is one of the closest manufacturers as well as an important market for import and export freight alike. In recent years successful cooperation with China has developed in Belarus, both in the manufacturing and transit industry. As China is currently a global manufacturer, exporter and investor, this is a strong argument for the whole logistics sector of Latvia to cooperate with Belarus.”