Latvian Stevedoring Company Association (LSA) met with businessmen from Kazakhstan on the 1st and the 2nd of February. Foreign businessmen were on a visit to Liepaja Special Economic Zone and Riga sea port. During this visit, sides discussed the topic of Latvian-Kazakh cooperation to further reinforce the transport corridor between the two countries. They also discussed new Eurasian transport road perspectives and alternative corridors.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Latvia Timur Primbetov and deputy state secretary to Latvia’s Ministry of Transport and head of the Latvian-Kazakh Transport work group Uldis Reimanis attended the talks and voiced support in favour of cooperation between the two countries.
Representatives of LSA, Ventspils and Lieapaja sea port-based businessmen and representatives of Latvijas auto discussed with the delegation of Kazakh KAZLOGISTICS company and US Agency for International Development USAID the challenges related to establishment of the Central Asian and European transport corridor and future challenges. They also discussed Latvia’s role and opportunities in the development of such a corridor.
The delegation from Kazakhstan was also presented with offers from Riga, Ventspils and Liepaja sea ports. They also discussed future cooperation perspectives and sanction-related topics.
According to Timur Primbetov, the government of Kazakhstan does all it can to avoid breach of anti-Russian sanctions.
LSA council member Ivars Landmanis stresses that when starting cooperation with new clients, stevedoring companies always carefully do their homework to make sure this cooperation does not breach any international restrictions. «This meeting once again demonstrates tight control and monitoring from the side of Kazakh and Latvian businessmen,» said Landmanis.
Primbetov stressed the successful cooperation established between the two countries, adding that Kazakhstan has much to offer Latvia’s market and Latvia itself is a very important transit country for imports and exports of Kazakh freight. KAZLOGISTICS director general Erlan Absatov said this country’s businessmen see wide opportunities for exports of Kazakh goods through Latvian sea ports to Nordic Europe and Scandinavian countries.
LSA council chairman Āris Ozoliņš also adds that sea port-based stevedoring companies, together with Latvian ministries and state institutions, have done a great deal in reorienting the flow of freight and establishing sustainable relations with Kazakh businesses. «Efforts are focused on exports of ores, coated iron ores, fertilisers, cereals and coal from Kazakhstan using Latvian sea ports, as well as imports of wind turbines, heavy machinery, agricultural equipment and sugar to Kazakhstan. Over the years Latvian stevedoring companies have made several visits to Kazakhstan, which further deepened economic cooperation.»
Representatives of sea port-based companies in Latvia admit the potential of Kazakhstan in exports of various kinds of freight presents an additional opportunity for Latvia to continue developing its sea ports.
Ivars Landmanis especially outlines the high praise received from Kazakh businessmen in regards to Latvia’s sea port infrastructure, service quality and speed. «Cooperation between Latvian and Kazakh businessmen is important for both countries, because both Kazakhstan and Latvia want to preserve their development and competitiveness through new cooperation and projects. Kazakhstan is actively looking for new paths to the Baltic Sea, and LSA is happy to see Kazakh businessmen have picked Latvia for freight exports to other countries,» he said.
Businesses engaged in the transit sector see a very large potential in Kazakhstan when it comes to freight exports, which is already being worked on. It is thanks to the varied freight transports from Kazakhstan, it was possible to preserve Latvia’s transit sector’s competitiveness among Baltic States despite these very difficult geopolitical challenges.
Kazakhstan is a strategically important partner for Latvia’s transport sector in the Central Asian region. The volume of freight between the two countries had nearly quadrupled in 2022 when compared with the year prior. Latvia facilitates transport of freight from Kazakhstan intended for the European Union and other countries, as well as sends through freight sent from the west to Kazakhstan.
LSA is a development-focused cluster that unites stevedoring companies from Liapaja, Ventspils and Riga. LSA develops various projects and initiatives aimed at the transit sector’s overall development to promote and create new cooperation and high added value services at Latvia’s sea ports. LSA is a member of Latvian Port, Transit and Logistics Council.