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Saturday 21.01.2017 | Name days: Agne, Agnese, Agnija
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BATL and FM to work together to improve competitiveness of Latvian ports

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«In order to improve international competitiveness of Latvian ports and attract new cargoes, we need to review the currently used railway infrastructure tariffs, which are some of the highest in Europe – EUR 9.97 per kilometre,» – said Inga Antane, head of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics.

«Because of high infrastructure tariffs, millions of euros worth of cargos are lost and Latvia’s national economy suffers from it. This only benefits ports in Lithuania and Estonia, who, because of higher tariffs in Latvia, attract more cargoes and new partners. Inefficient tariffs are the main obstacle for Latvia’s otherwise successful cooperation with Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries prepared to use Latvia’s transit structure,» – said Antane during her meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics on 23 October.

During the conversation, Rinkevics confirmed the interest of eastern countries in Latvia’s transit structures, adding that both Belarus and Kazakhstan, and even China, are interested in continuing cooperation with Latvia’s largest ports, but only as long as they are provided with better conditions and reasonable railway tariffs. The minister also added that it is necessary to come up with a united vision for the development of Latvia as a transit country in a long-term perspective, which would provide more effective talks with potential partners in an international environment, as reported by BATL.

The association’s representatives mentioned during talks with the minister that the first step in fixing problematic areas in the industry has been made – Transport Ministry has begun putting together a work group to resolve the infrastructure tariff problem.

«BATL had mentioned the acute necessity to review tariffs to Latvia’s infrastructure multiple times in the past. Finally our efforts have gotten through to the government and politicians have decided to form a work group. We see that as a positive accomplishment. Nevertheless, we would like to point out that the government and businesses have a different sense of time – what is a matter of a couple of months for the government is usually solved in days in the business environment. This is why we need to work more effectively and offer a more flexible tariff policy in order for our transit companies to be able to offer better services to their partners. It is vital for the survival of our businessmen and their remainder on the global map,» – explains Antane.

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