“Latvia is interested in close cooperation with Belarus in the areas of transit and logistics. The Great Stone industrial park project implemented by Belarus and China is a great opportunity to foster such cooperation,” emphasised Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, during the meeting with Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak in Minsk on Thursday, 4 October.
The Deputy Speaker underlined the historical significance of Latvian-Belorussian cooperation in the transport sector by noting that both countries share common transport infrastructure and joint plans to develop transport links. Container traffic between both countries has more than doubled this year in comparison with last year. Great Stone can become the next step towards greater bilateral cooperation. It is a large-scale project that will help enliven the One Road, One Belt initiative, with a transport corridor connecting China with the European Union.
According to Deputy Speaker Daudze, Latvia and Belarus might cooperate in the transportation and distribution of products made at the industrial park. One of the key advantages of Latvia is its ability to ship goods to North European and Scandinavian markets through its ports and distribution centres in less than 48 hours.
Gundars Daudze emphasised that Latvia and Belarus have completed a number of steps towards enhanced transport and transit cooperation. Latvian Railways opened its representative office in Belarus earlier this year, and the Port of Ventspils has already signed a cooperation agreement with the Great Stone industrial park. The recent signing of Riga-Minsk express freight train agreement between the railway companies of both countries constitutes another practical step towards closer cooperation. Moreover, Latvian, Belarusian and Chinese experts are currently working on new logistics chains in order to boost the efficiency of Eurasian transport networks.
While in Belarus, the Saeima delegation visited the Great Stone industrial park and the Adani plant for manufacturing of medical devices and electronic security equipment in the Free Economic Zone Minsk.
The working visit of Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, to Belarus began on 3 October and will conclude on 5 October. On his visit to Belarus, the Deputy Speaker of the Saeima is accompanied by Jānis Vucāns, Chairman of the Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee of the Saeima; Romāns Naudiņš, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee; Secretary of the Committee Anrijs Matīss; and Artūrs Rubiks, Chairman of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with Belarus.
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Saeima Press Service