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Freeport of Riga strengthens cooperation with China

On 27 September, within the framework of the International Logistics Exhibition “Silk Road International Logistics Expo” in Lianyungang, China, a Memorandum on Strategic Cooperation was signed between the Freeport of Riga Authority and the Port of Lianyungang, with the goal to promote the development of multi-modal transport services and solutions in the Eurasian land transport corridor.

“The Freeport of Riga is interested in the establishment and strengthening of new cooperative relations in order to use the experience of the port of Lianyungang, developing transport connections with Eurasia and creating a multi-modal transport corridor from the Yellow Sea to the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia”, Martiņš Ziemanis, Deputy CEO of the Freeport of Riga Authority, emphasised.

Within the framework of the meeting, Ziemans certified to the Chinese delegation that the Freeport of Riga could provide port infrastructure which is already compatible with the infrastructure of countries of the One Belt and One Road Initiatives, thus ensuring effective transport connections. Likewise, Ziemanis invited the management of the port and city of Lianyungang to visit Latvia and meet with representatives of port, railway and logistics companies in order to continue the cooperation.

“Thanks to the geographical advantages of Latvia the port of Riga, with its maritime and direct railway connections with Russia, Belarus and Middle Asia, can play a crucial role as the Western Gate of the Eurasian Land Bridge, connecting the port of Lianyungang and the Horgos inland logistics centre corridor with the Baltic Sea and Europe”, Yang Xingshi, Secretary of Lianyungang Municipal Party Committee, noted.

The port of Lianyungang is one of the starting points of the New Silk Road. It is an exemplary port of China, which handles inland and international cargo, providing combined maritime-railway transport services and solutions. The first Chinese-European container train was opened in 1992, when the new transport corridor connected the port of Lianyungang with the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands via Middle Asia. Last year, over 220 million tons of cargo and 4.65 million TEU containers were handled in the port of Lianyungang, making it the 10th largest port in China.

The port of Lianyungang was chosen by Kazakhstan for its investments in China. In 2014, “KTZ-Express”, a subsidiary company of “Kazakhstan Railway”, purchased shares in the multi-modal terminal of the port of Kazakhstan. This year, the authority of the port of Lianyungang, together with China Cosco Shipping Group, purchased 49 percent of shares of the Horgos logistics centre located on the border of China and Kazakhstan, creating an inland connection between the two terminals.

During the visit to Lianyungang the Latvian delegation met with Xiang Xuelong, Mayor of Lianyungang City, Zhu Xiangyang, President of the Lianyungang Port Group, representatives of the International Logistics Park of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (Lianyungang), representatives of Cosco Shipping Lines, Cosco Shipping Logistics, China Railway Container Transport Company, Sinotrans Landbridge Transportation and representative of other local and international companies.

The delegation in Lianyungang was headed by Māris Selga, Ambassador of Latvia to the People’s Republic of China, and Helmuts Kols, Advisor to the Latvian Ministry of Transport in the Embassy of Latvia.