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25 Jan 2017

Latvian ports ready to negotiate mutually beneficial terms for Belarusian cargo forwarders

MINSK, 25 January (BelTA) – Latvia is ready to discuss mutually beneficial terms for Belarusian cargo forwarders in its seaports, Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis told journalists following the meeting of the Belarusian-Latvian intergovernmental commission for cooperation in economy and science, BelTA has learned.

“We continue discussing discounts and other matters. A business council had a session yesterday where businessmen discussed these matters. We need to work on making the cooperation mutually beneficial,” Uldis Augulis noted.

He stressed that beneficial terms are not only about discounts. “It is also about the reliability of a partner, the speed of transshipment and some other things. Discounts do matter: they can be offered for one year, two years, or even longer,” Uldis Augulis added. “Thus, we should weigh everything in, and only then make a decision.”

Belarus’ Minister of Transport and Communications Anatoly Sivak noted that the terms of delivery to Latvian ports are permanently on the agenda of interstate negotiations. “In March, the representatives of the Belarusian rail operator, the Latvian railways and ports will negotiate the rates for the next period. It is a normal practice to search for clients by showing the advantages of this or that route to cargo forwarders. The issue of discounts is always on the agenda because freight is typically forwarded along the cheapest route,” Anatoly Sivak said.

Belarus and Latvia are working together on the transport corridor for transit cargo from Asia, including from China. The prospects for such cooperation will also be discussed at a meeting between representatives of the transport services in March. “We are drafting a transportation agreement as part of the Silk Road project. This document involves the Latvian Ministry of Transport and the Belarusian Ministry of Transport and Communications and also the Chinese Ministry of Transport,” Anatoly Sivak added. He said that the coordinated work in this direction will boost the development of the China-Belarus industrial park. “We should develop the appropriate infrastructure, legal framework, determine the rates as the goods will arrive both by land and by sea. We should also make provisions for export routes and consider the capabilities of the seaports,” Anatoly Sivak said.

The Belarusian-Latvian intergovernmental commission discussed the cooperation in trade, forestry, energy, agriculture, food industry, transport and logistics, building, tourism, education, and other areas. Following the meeting, the sides signed a protocol of the meeting and the agreement on cooperation between the Belarusian and Latvian chambers of commerce.

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