Lithuania is ready to implement transport investment projects of a strategic importance

Date

2016 03 02

Rating
0
LietuvosEkonomikosKonferencija1602.jpg

“Transport sector’s influence over the country’s economy in constantly increasing and its efficiency grows. It is the third largest sector in Lithuania’s economy succeeding manufacturing and trade and being at an advance of such sectors as construction and real estate” today at Lithuania’s Economy conference said Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania Arijandas Šliupas. “The transport sector’s contribution into country’s GDP over the first half of last year increased by 0.3 percent in comparison with the same period of 2014 and amounted to 13,7 percent” added the Vice-Minister.

The reduced trade flows between Russia and the EU encouraged Lithuanian transport and logistics companies to be active in other markets, therefore, transport sector’s contribution to the export of services amounted to 60.1 percent last year. The export of services significantly increased to Netherlands (37 percent), France (36 percent), United Kingdom (27 percent), Latvia (20 percent) and Austria (12 percent). Due to its favorable geographical position, Lithuania is becoming freight transit gates to businesses in China.

“We seek to ensure smooth interaction between various modes of transport, in order to make our country a part of important logistics chain in the route of the Silk Road i.e. from Nordic countries via Klaipėda port and along the rail to China and Central Asian countries. In addition, Lithuania aims to become China’s center for freight distribution to Northern and Western Europe (HUB)” said Vice-Minister Arijandas Šliupas.

“China Merchants Group” (CMG), a Chinese company for transportation and logistics, real estate development and financial investments, is in the process of launching 2 offices in Vilnius and Klaipėda (Lithuania) in March.

The contract of freight forwarding was signed with four Turkish logistics companies that are expected to help attract new clients and additional freights for container train “Viking”. A meeting among container train “Viking” partners is expected to be held in April in Azerbaijan, a country which intends to join the project as well. Another country, Kazakhstan, is also interested in the project. Finally, Swedish national rail freight service provider “Green Cargo” is also planning to become a member of “Viking” already this year.   

A passenger train on the route Kaunas-Bialystok in planned to be launched this year. “Rail Baltica”, the European standard gauge, will provide access to Warsaw, Krakow and other Western European countries.  

Furthermore, “PKP Cargo”, one of the largest companies providing rail freight services in Poland and the EU, started to work in Lithuania. The company’s goods trains operate in Lithuania 3 times a week since February.

In order to augment the efficiency of country’s airports and their benefits for the state, at the end of June, Lithuania’s Government Strategic Committee approved the development of infrastructure and services of Lithuanian airports in the way of a concession but maintaining the airport infrastructure in public ownership.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania is entrusted to prepare the Lithuanian airport concession project and assess the return of investments to the state. The aim of this project is to attract new regular flights to the country, increase the number of passengers as well as passenger terminal capacity and create new infrastructure.

It is expected that the largest Lithuania’s investment projects during the EU Financial Period 2014-2020 will be “Rail Baltica”, the electrification of lines part of IXB international corridor, development of highway Via Baltica, Klaipėda port’s shipping channel dredging, reconstruction of Vilnius International airport runaway, III stage of Vilnius western bypass and traffic safety improvement projects.