Initiated by Lithuania, the cooperation of Asian and European transport ministers is continuing in China

Date

2011 10 25

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Initiated by Lithuania, the cooperation of Asian and European transport ministers is continuing in China
Initiated by Lithuania, the cooperation of Asian and European transport ministers is continuing in China
The Meeting is officially headed by the Ministers of China and Lithuania – two countries that co-initiated the ASEM cooperation in transport sector – Li Shenglin, Minister of Transport of China, and Eligijus Masiulis, Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.
 
Today in the morning, as a co-chair of theASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting, Minister Masiulis has discussed the most important issues of transport sector with Zhang Dejiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of China.    
 
“The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) provides the most important basis for cooperation between the two continents. Facing the intensive trade between EU and Asian countries, we have to strengthen our relations, be challengers and innovators. Transport is the main sector for better integration of economic relations; therefore we have to share our plans and strategies, ensure the efficient dialogue and develop a strong transport network”, said Minister Masiulis in his welcome speech.  
 
At present largest amounts of goods are transported between Asia and Europe by sea. Regarding the time spent for transportation of goods by sea, the carriage of freight by land transport should be an attractive alternative. The Baltic Sea region, which is at the eastern border of the European Union, having a highly developed transport infrastructure and the northern-most ice free seaport of Klaipėda, provides many advantages for international transportation.  
 
According to evaluation of specialists, the longest distance between China and Lithuania can be covered within the period of 45 days by sea, and over 18 days by land transport. Therefore the further development of transport infrastructure and logistics centres together with the improvement of rapid border crossing, as well as competitive tariffs of services, should result in making the Baltic Sea region a successful gateway for freight flows from the Far East countries, and particularly from China.  
 
An example of the successful cooperation is the Container train “Viking” route linking the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea. Furthermore, as a result of the transport links development, the first pilot container train “Saulė” (the Sun) is today leaving for Lithuania from China-Kazakhstan State border area. According to the agreements with China, in future such container trains should shuttle between Lithuania and the Sìchuān Province, the central part of China.   
 
During the present 2nd ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting in China it is planned to adopt a consolidated declaration and approve a concrete action plan, which has been jointly initiated by the both countries at the 1st ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting.