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BATL: Belarus is very important for Latvia’s transit sector

Photo: twitter.com/@Brivosta
The transit sector in Latvia has adapted to the market conjuncture in recent years. One of the biggest future potentials is associated with Belarus, which is an important region for railway freight. On top of that, Belarus is a major logistics hub on the transit way to China, said board member of Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics Ivars Landmanis during a meeting with a delegation from Belarus.

Representatives of BATL met this week with high-ranking delegation from Belarus. Members of the delegation included Belarusian state oil company Belneftekhim head Andrei Ribakov, Transport and Communications Minister Aleksey Avramenko, Deputy Economy Minister Yuri Chebotar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus in Latvia Vasily Markovich and other high-ranking officials.

BATL stresses that this visit was very important, because servicing freight from Belarus is very important for Latvia’s transit industry. Additionally, Belarus is an important hub for international freight headed from Asia through Latvia to Scandinavian countries. Cooperation with the joint Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone, which is part of the One Belt – One Way concept, is equally important for future growth.

«The visit of high-ranking delegation from Belarus to companies part of BATL and Ventspils Freeport demonstrates favourable future cooperation perspectives that will provide considerable contribution for our country’s economy,» says Landmanis.

He says cooperation with Belarus in transport and logistics sector is very important for Latvia’s transit industry. Because of that, BATL’s businessmen invest a great deal of effort into growing this cooperation.

BATL adds that cooperation is only possible on mutually beneficial conditions. This is why it is very important to resolve lasting problems associated with transit corridor on an inter-governmental level. To improve the competitiveness of Latvia’s transit sector, it is necessary for Transport Ministry to act decisively.

Māris Bremze, chairman of one of Latvia’s largest railway transit company Baltic Express, believes future improvement of cooperation depends on resolution of multiple lasting problems related to railway freight.

For example, considering the dominating position of state railway company Latvian Railway’s subsidiary LDz Cargo in border regions, it is not possible for private carriers to offer clients services within conditions of free competition. This state of affairs inevitably leads to market distortion, Bremze adds.

«Clients suffer as a result. It also makes railway freight services more expensive,» stresses Bremze. Resolving this and other problematic aspects would help increase flow of freights, including from Belarus.

Landmanis notes: «Belarus is a very important partner for Latvia. Future development of cooperation between our countries in the field of transit, transports and logistics is one of the most important strategic directions. This year we have seen an considerable increase on land freights from Belarus, and we have for fruitful cooperation in transports of Belarusian freights through Ventspils port. We will work on future cooperation during our visit to Belarus.»

Landmanis also hopes that the still unresolved question regarding equal competition for Latvia’s largest ports will be resolved soon.

During the visit, BATL offered the delegation from Belarus to have a look at private transit companies and the advantages they can offer. The delegation was also told about BATL Group companies’ services, including railway freight services. The delegation also visited Ventspils Freeport, as reported by BATL.


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