Participation in “TransUzbekistan 2016” provides an opportunity to assess the vast potential for cooperation with Uzbekistan

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On November 16 - 18  the most important transport and logistics industry event - the exhibition “TransUzbekistan 2016” took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The   port of Riga was represented by the Freeport of Riga Authority (FPRA) as well as by the port companies - “Riga Universal Terminal” Ltd. and “TFS Trans”Ltd. In the framework of the exhibition the interested parties were informed about the Riga port cargo   transit and investment, and Latvian transit corridor offer was presented at the Latvian national stand together with Ventspils, Liepaja and Mersrags port authorities, SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš” and Latvian logistics companies.

“TransUzbekistan” is the only specialized transport sector exhibition in Uzbekistan, which every year attracts a large number of entrepreneurs, officials and media   not only from Uzbekistan, but also from other Central Asian countries. The main task of the FPRA participation in the exhibition “TransUzbekistan” is to promote awareness of the Freeport of Riga, to inform about the port services and cooperation possibilities, as well as to foster a dialogue with the local cargo importers and exporters. Taking into account the specifics of the Central Asian countries in regards of decision-making on various long-term partnership issues, which also include use of Latvian transit corridor and ports for transshipment of Uzbekistan import/export cargo, regular communication and friendly relations with the Uzbek businessmen and public officials are extremely important. Annual participation in the exhibition “TransUzbekistan” as well as formal meetings and informal discussions demonstrate the Latvian side’s interest in collaboration and help to maintain friendly partnership required for transactions.

Both the FPRA representatives and port companies mentioned that this year there has been rather hesitant attitude from Uzbek side. This can be explained by the changes in top leadership in Uzbekistan, as well as by European and Russian sanctions, which have largely influenced Uzbek cargo transit to Europe. However, the willingness to cooperate in the field of transit cargo remains consistently high from both the Latvian and the Uzbek counterparts. Currently agricultural machinery, cotton processing equipment and other project cargo are being sent from the port of Riga to Uzbekistan. In its turn, the port of Riga would be interested to receive the cotton cargo from Uzbekistan for further export to Europe. Transit of Uzbekistan's agricultural and food products via the port of Riga has a large potential, while currently there are no deliveries due to sanctions.

The experts think that the fact that top Uzbek officials participated in the reception , organized by Latvian Embassy in Uzbekistan  in honor of the Latvia’ s Independence Day, is  a good sign for future Latvian-Uzbek cooperation including the one  in the transit sphere. Latvian Transport Ministry Deputy State Secretary Mr. Uldis Reimanis and participants of Latvian national stand at the international exhibition “TransUzbekistan 2016” also took part in the festive event. The Uzbek side was represented by one of the Uzbekistan top officials - Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ulugbek Rosukulov.