Kazakhstan and Latvia: Development of partnership

Kazakhstan and Latvia are expanding their strategic cooperation. The two friendly countries marked 2017 as the year of growth in transport. A meeting of the Kazakh-Latvian intergovernmental commission is scheduled for May this year. Experts will discuss cooperation in the aerospace industry.

VLADIMIR SAMOILENKO, SPOKESPERSON, LATVIAN INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY:

- The Ministry of Education and Science is preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on aerospace. I said that we have long-standing connections and more than 20 space related companies are working in Latvia, but they are working with the European agency and NASA. In general, after signing this memorandum, I think there will be more efforts. We have something to offer.

Kazakhstan’s transport and transit potential is of importance for Latvia. Kazakhstan is considered as a gateway to the East while Latvia is the gateway to the West. The countries are tied by strong friendship and close cooperation. This is confirmed by the statistics for 2017.

ULDIS REYMANIS, DEPUTY STATE SECRETARY, LATVIAN MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT:

- I think we are heading to a positive trend. Last year, container shipments grew by 3.8%. Regarding our ports, transportation of container shipments through our ports processed more frequently comparing to 2016, specifically; frequency of container flow increased by 15%. In road traffic, the size of cargo along the roadways has also increased. We exchanged 4,000 universal permits for bilateral transport and 700 permits for transport from the third world countries.

One of the main achievements was the partnership agreement between the railways of Latvia and Kazakhstan. This gave a new impetus to cooperation of the countries in cargo transportation.

EDVINS BERZINSPRESIDENTLATVIAN RAILWAYS:

- After this contract, we have already seen the first container train from China which went transit through Kazakhstan and then went to Latvia. It is also very important that we work together in Khorgos. Our working groups have already visited Khorgos several times and looked at how to improve and progress. I would say that in 2017 we laid out a very strong and good foundation for cooperation in the future.

The delegations of the two countries will meet again at the upcoming Astana Economic Forum. Latvia intends to present its vision about more efficient container transportations as part of the Eurasian corridor.