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Experimental multi-million logistics center to be set up by Belarus border

The Pāternieki crossing point on the border with Belarus will become an experimental freight logistics center with terminals for transhipment, as well as zones of manufacture in addition to truck parking spots, reports Latvian Radio May 29.

Construction of the park is to start next year, with officials saying it may play a strategic role in the border area of Latgale, eastern Latvia. The project involves different ministries, and the customs service and border guards are involved in planning too, said Ināra Dzalbe, a representative of the Krāslava municipality.

The Pāternieki border crossing sees about 500 trucks and cars pass through daily. It was built more than a decade ago. 

While the crossing on the side of Belarus has been renovated, queues sometimes form on the Latvian side because of low throughput. Traffic should become faster after reconstruction, as new lanes are to be added, said Iveta Maļina-Tabūne, the head of the Latgale planning region.

In addition, laxer regulations are planned for truck drivers, said vice-head of the Krāslava municipality Viktors Moisejs.

"Vehicles with freight that is to be distributed in the EU... will be able to cross from the Belarus side. This way freight will be much easier to import from Belarus for distribution in Europe," he said.

Nevertheless, the increased throughput is not of the utmost importance, as the logistics center will also add value, said Zalbe.

"We want some manufacturing to take place here with added value," she said. 

The project will cost several million, with €2.5m coming from the European Regional Development Fund, 15% from the Krāslava municipality and €1.5m from private investors, said Maļina Tabūne. 

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