New Silk Road
Latvia has become a part of the new Silk Road. The new container train transfers goods from China to Europe. Within a week, the train carried 41 containers of food additives through the 6000 kilometers long new route, Urumqi-Altynkol-Riga-Rotterdam, to the port of Riga. The transportation would have taken 1,5 month by sea. The opening of the new route was the result of the fruitful negotiations between four countries.
EDVINS BERZINS, PRESIDENT, LATVIAN RAILWAYS:
- We observe very good interconnection and cooperation between the countries. If you look at the platforms of the Kazakh Railways, the containers come from a subsidiary of TransContainer of the Russian Railways. The container train carries Chinese goods through Latvia to the European Union. Everyone is involved in transportation which is important.
Latvia has become Kazakhstan’s logistics center of transit container transportation between Asia and Europe. The new railway route will start to work in September. Thanks to the new container train, in the future the turnover between the two countries can double.
BAUYRZHAN MUKHAMEDZHANOV, KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO LATVIA:
- There has been a steady growth in 2017. The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Latvia increased by 20%. The amount of transit cargoes that pass through Latvia and Kazakhstan increased by 40%. I think this is a significant growth. If the project succeeds, the amount of the turnover can increase from 500 million euros to a billion euros.
Latvia’s three non-freezing ports allow the country to be an important logistics hub for the transit of Chinese goods through Kazakhstan and Russia to Europe. Having set a good start, Latvia and Kazakhstan intend to further expand close cooperation to achieve regular container transportations via the route.