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Lithuania to strengthen cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the field of transport and communication

Date

2022 09 15

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During a visit this week to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, where he was accompanied by the heads of Lithuanian Airports and the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis sat down with his counterparts in these countries to discuss mutual cooperation in the field of transport and communication as well as possible new projects, such as flights between Vilnius and UAE airports, opportunities to increase the countries’ cargo flows and implement development projects at the Port of Klaipėda. Possible investments in energy projects were also discussed at the meetings.

During the trip, Minister Skuodis met with UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, who is responsible for implementing the UAE Transport Policy, and Omani Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology H.E. Eng. Saeed bin Hamoud bin Saeed Al Mawali.

“The UAE and Oman are some of the most important hubs of international trade, tourism and transport connecting the Middle East with Europe, Asia and Africa. Lithuania has every opportunity to create connections between its own trade and logistics centres and those of this region, creating new opportunities for business and further diversifying trade. The projects for expanding the southern part of the port of Klaipėda, deepening the shipping channel, and developing a wind farm that are already under way or are planned for the near future in Klaipėda open up many mutually beneficial perspectives in the field of transport and communication,” says Minister Skuodis.

It is in Lithuania’s interest to significantly expand its direct air connectivity, and regular passenger flights to the hubs of this region are one of the priority directions. 

“A partnership with airlines operating in the UAE would be a strategic opportunity for us to significantly expand air connectivity and dramatically increase the accessibility of Asian countries. The airlines in this region operate flights to hundreds of cities around the world, so for Lithuanian airports, a potential partnership and the start of cooperation could mean not only more foreign tourists and greater choice and convenience for our own travellers, but also an opportunity to expand the volume of air freight. During this meeting, we discussed our airports’ capabilities and presented their market potential, so we believe that further cooperation may lead to concrete solutions,” asserts Lithuanian Airports acting CEO Aurimas Stikliūnas.

The possibilities and capacities of cargo transportation through the Klaipėda State Seaport were also presented during the trip to the UAE and Oman. It was noted that Klaipėda is already investing heavily in the infrastructure of the port and expansion of its southern part, focusing on activities that create high added value. UAE and Omani companies were invited to take advantage of the freight transit opportunities that Lithuania has to offer, and to participate in Port of Klaipėda development and alternative energy projects.

“Cooperating with distant ports, changing the direction of cargo flow, looking for various opportunities in new geographical and industrial latitudes, and spreading the word that the Port of Klaipėda is competitive and provides quality services is especially relevant today. Our aim is to compensate for what has been lost,” says Klaipėda State Seaport Authority Director General Algis Latakas.

Oman is looking for opportunities for cooperation in the field of transport, energy and digital agenda in Lithuania. In the meeting with the Omani Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, it was agreed to work actively in the near future on specific actions that would promote cooperation between the ports of Oman and Klaipėda.

Minister Skuodis invited his counterparts from both countries to visit Lithuania. This week, the minister and his Lithuanian delegation also met in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with the heads of logistics company DP World and FlyDubai and Etihad Airways, which are two of the largest airlines in the Middle East. They also had a meeting in Muscat, the capital of Oman, with the management of the Omani Ports Directorate and the heads of ASYAD, Oman’s national logistics group. 

While visiting Dubai (UAE), the Lithuanian delegation also met with representatives of the Lithuanian community.

Minister Skuodis is visiting the UAE and Oman from 12 to 15 September.