Kazakhstan and Latvia strengthening cooperation in transit and transport areas
Latvia is one of Kazakhstan's key partners. Kazakhstan considers Latvia as the largest transport hub of the Eurasian corridor in the Baltic region. Therefore, strengthening cooperation in transit and transport is one of the important areas of bilateral Kazakh-Latvian relations. Over the past few years, a steady growth has been observed in container transportation between the countries. The strategic goal is to increase the volumes of cargo transportation and strengthen cooperation on the New Silk Road between Europe and China. The parties spoke about these prospects in Riga at the first meeting of the working group on transport.
ROMAN SKLYAR, KAZAKH DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT:
- In 2017, more than 133,000 tonnes of products were transported from and to Latvia via transit. If we compare this indicator with 2016, it grew by 72,000 tonnes, which is a fairly serious indicator. However, we all understand that this is far from the limit and we have to do our best. We must increase both container flows and container freight turnover between our countries.
Another important achievement of cooperation in transport was the renewal of direct regular air-to-ground communication between Kazakhstan and Latvia. At the end of April, the first flight will depart from Riga to Almaty. The flights are scheduled three times a week.
SVETLANA ABASHKINA, VICE PRESIDENT FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, AIRBALTIC:
- Kazakhstan’ mountains and history are very unique. Basically, people have already traveled to Europe which is well studied and known. On the other hand, this can be a return of our former air connection.
According to experts, the transport infrastructure in Kazakhstan and Latvia allows increasing the volumes of freight transportation, which will also lead to shorter delivery times. The cargo passes through seaports, which are Kazakhstan’s gateway to the Baltic-Scandinavian market. In return, goods are also transported via Kazakhstan from Latvia to the Central, East and South East Asian countries. According to the parties, the potential for strengthening the partnerships is rather high.