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Latvia aspires to serve the transcontinental flows

"Co-ompetition is the key to future successful development" Igor Kabashkin, President of the Transport and Telecommunications Institute in Riga, declared when presenting the prospects of Latvia's transport transit role. Some 50 participants joined the discussion when TransBaltic invited to debate the subject in Riga.

Alongside Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is mobilising the forces not to be left off the map when the growing Asian economies plan their future transport routes. Inta Rozensteine, Latvian Ministry of Transport, announced that the Ministry, in the planning stage of the national transport policy 2014-2020, is much aware of the importance of attracting these transit flows to secure a positive economic development, while keeping references to the European Commission's White Paper.

Latvia has the advantage of bordering to both Russia and Belarus and the institutionalised customs union between these two neighbouring countries and Kazakhstan is perceived an excellent opportunity to attract the freight flows. Development of logistics and distribution centres could also be on the agenda with the value added production in the customs free zones.

Competition between the three Baltic States is, however, not a desirable outlook. While rivalling for funding to develop TEN-T infrastructure links and green transport technologies, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia can still cooperate to harmonise planning concepts and develop their own profiles as transit countries. Thus, co-ompetition at relevant governance levels and across the territories could be more suitable as a means to find a right focus in transport policy planning.

Click here to see a live coverage from the event.

published 27.09.2011