Mr. Skuodis invited Japanese investors to contribute to projects in Three Seas Initiative, including the development of the Port of Klaipėda

Investments and active participation of Japanese companies in the development of the Port of Klaipėda and other transport infrastructure projects in the region would significantly contribute to enhancing the connectivity in the Three Seas - the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas – region. It would also help to diversify the transport systems and to apply innovative technologies. This invitation has been presented today by the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis at an event organised by Lithuania to present the Three Seas Initiative in the Japanese capital Tokyo.

"We see the Three Seas Initiative as a platform of much broader strategic importance, attracting the attention of the world's largest and most innovative businesses to transport and other strategic infrastructure development projects in the region. Our business communities could certainly work together on maritime connectivity, sustainability and digitalization, and join forces to innovate in transport and logistics," said the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis. He invited Japanese representatives to the Three Seas Initiative’s Business Forum hosted by Lithuania on April 11 in Vilnius.

Mr. Skuodis also presented the priorities of Lithuania's Presidency of the International Transport Forum (ITF), emphasizing Lithuania's efforts to seek as much support as possible for the reconstruction and development of the Ukrainian transport infrastructure. According to Mr. Skuodis, for this reason, the Three Seas Initiative and the ITF events in our country will be held side by side, thus ensuring maximum focus on Ukraine.

Mr. Skuodis has also informed Japanese partners about the Common Interests Group for Ukraine CIG4U - a platform for further cooperation and support to Ukraine, which was launched in December 2023 under the ITF auspices and led by Canada, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine.

He also expressed the hope that a number of ITF member countries, including large international assistance donors would join this important group.

When presenting the Lithuanian transport sector and the opportunities it provides, it was noted that the development of the southern part of the Port of Klaipėda, which is expected to be completed by 2030, offers a particularly large potential for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation and the increase of the volume of cargo through the Port of Klaipėda. The new area of up to 100 hectares will be able to accommodate the largest ships on the Baltic Sea and will handle up to 30 million tonnes of cargo per year.

In 2023, over 13,000 tonnes of cargo were transported to and from Japan via the Port of Klaipėda, around 60% more compared to 2022. The main cargoes were vehicles and equipment, machinery and mechanical equipment, electrical equipment and textiles.

"We value Japan as Lithuania's strategic partner in Asia; thus we want to strengthen bilateral cooperation, increase the existing cargo flows to and from Japan, and attract new types of cargo. Involvement of Japanese companies in the projects carried out by the Port of Klaipėda could also become an object of our cooperation", says Algis Latakas, the Director General of the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.

€234 million is planned to be invested in the development of the Port of Klaipėda infrastructure in 2024-2027. The major projects include the dredging of the port's shipping channel to a depth of 17 m, as well as the infrastructure of an offshore wind installation port, which is important for Lithuania's plans to build wind farms in the Baltic Sea.

In addition, a project to install green fuel (hydrogen) production equipment and public refuelling stations is being implemented in the Port of Klaipėda, as well as shore-side electricity supply infrastructure for ships is planned to be installed.

Mr. Skuodis is visiting Japan on February 18-22.