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UAE Delegation Positively Assesses Operations at the Freeport of Riga and Discusses Cooperation Opportunities

Last week a delegation of entrepreneurs from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), headed by Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, visited Latvia. During the visit, UAE entrepreneurs admitted that they were interested in expanding cooperation with Latvian companies in several sectors, including transport and logistics. This was also confirmed by the delegation’s visit to the Freeport of Riga and the company TFS Trans’s logistics centre.

During the visit, guests from the UAE and entrepreneurs of the Port of Riga both highlighted the potential of cooperation of the two parties. “There is a range of cooperation possibilities between Latvia and the United Arab Emirates in various sectors. Particularly, if we speak about logistics,” highlighted Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during the visit to the Port of Riga.

UAE is already the most important trade partner for Latvia among countries in the Gulf region. In recent years turnover of foreign trade between Latvia and the UAE has doubled, the most vivid contribution thereto ensured by exports of Latvia food products. In 2017, exports of food products increased by 48%. The Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry also confirmed: “We import 90% of the agricultural products that we consume.” In turn, Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Freeport of Riga, added that the majority of food products are exported to the UAE through Latvian ports: “A large share of the Latvian grain harvest is exported through the Port of Riga to the UAE and the region; likewise, we handle transit cargo of food products”.

Zeltiņš noted that the Freeport of Riga would also be interested in cooperation with Dubai in the port and terminal development business: “The company DP World, founded almost 20 years ago with the goal to manage the terminals of the Port of Dubai, is already operating on 5 continents and is an operator of 78 sea and inland port terminals. The Port of Riga would undoubtedly be interested in cooperation with one of the world’s largest and most successful terminal operators as well.”

During the visit, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation and entrepreneurs visited the modern logistics centre of the company TFS Trans in the Freeport of Riga. A fully automated warehouse with 30-metre-high shelves and pallet transportation at speeds of up to 60 km/h surprised even the most experienced guests from Dubai. “We are happy that UAE entrepreneurs recognised the technologies of our warehouse as competitive and progressive also at the global level,” says Mihails Frolovs, Marketing Manager at TFS Trans. In turn, Zeltiņš highlights: “By visiting the new TFS Trans logistics centre, we showed UAE entrepreneurs the Port of Riga is a modern and technologically advanced partner.”