Cooperation of the industry players will foster competitiveness of Latvian-Belarus transit corridor

“Transport & Logistics” exhibition in Minsk (Belarus) came to an end. This was the 10th anniversary exhibition and it was held for three days on October 4 - 6. Working together with the Riga Commercial port, as well as with other major Latvian ports and the SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš (Latvian Railway)” at the Latvian stand the FPRA representatives attended the conferences, participated in informal meetings and roundtables. The exhibition, which took place in the framework of the Belarusian Transport Week, is regarded as an effective platform for establishing new contacts, promoting the port of Riga, as well as an opportunity together with other industry representatives to promote Latvian transit corridor options and its readiness for efficient transport of goods from Belarus. Participation in the exhibition and Belarusian Transport Week was also essential in relation to the fact that the first phase of the project “The Great Stone” will be put into operation in Belarus this November. “The Great Stone” is currently the largest infrastructure project in Belarus, and it is being implemented in partnership of China and Belarus. The project’s objective is to create an industrial logistics and business park not far from Minsk, which will be one of the most important branches of the New Silk Road initiative, creating road connections for transportation of goods from China to Europe. In this context it is essential for the Freeport of Riga to demonstrate its ability to compete with the Klaipeda port, which in the framework of the Great Stone project is regarded as the closest competitor for distribution of Chinese goods via the Baltic Sea.

That is why it was important for the Riga Port representatives to take part in the  conference “Role of the Great Stone Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park in developing the Belarusian transport and logistics systems” and in informal meetings with the project developers, which positively evaluated the Port of Riga and the total offer of the freight corridor Belarus - Latvia. The Great Stone representatives confirmed that the Riga Port is being seriously considered as an alternative to the port of Klaipeda, which by its geographical location has always been a better choice for the transportation of goods from Minsk.

The FPRA representatives and port operators, which took part in the Belarusian Transport Week events, stressed that the involvement of all the industry players and a single offer availability is crucial for successful promotion of both the port and the entire Latvian transit corridor. The annual event in Belarus was a good example of effective cooperation at all levels.  The Minister of Transport of Latvia Mr.Uldis Augulis spent a week in Minsk with the aim to participate in the Transport Week. The Minister opened the exhibition and spoke at the international conference “Role of the Great Stone Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park in developing the Belarusian transport and logistics systems” as well as met with the management of the Belarusian-Chinese industrial park “The Great Stone”. At every event the Minister promoted Latvian ports, as well as advantages of Latvian transit corridor for the Great Stone cargo delivery to Northern Europe. In its turn, the SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš” signed an agreement with the Belarusian railway on closer cooperation on tariff determination in the transit corridors, and the  LLC “LDz Cargo” entered into an agreement with the Belarusian railways on a more efficient circulation of documents in electronic form. All the activities, implemented by Latvian side in the framework of the Belarusian Transport Week, will undoubtedly enhance the competitiveness of the Belarusian - Latvian freight corridor and will promote Belarus cargo transit via the port of Riga.