Liepaja Bulk Terminal LTD is an agricultural bulk carrier with 25 years of experience. This is about 30% of Liepājas port's total cargo turnover, and last year it represented 2.4 million tonnes for the company, about 40% more than a year ago.
“Our company has transferred almost half a million tonnes to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, during the year,” said Juris Matvejevs, board member of Liepaja Bulk Terminal LTD.
Other businesses in the port of Liepāja also see increasing cargo flows from Central Asia.
"If we used to talk about 20-50 tonnes a year, then it is 400-500 thousand in the annual cut and with a growing trend. It is imports of sugar from South America heading towards the Central Asian countries, agricultural goods being directed to these countries and received in exports from there," said Uldis Hmieļevskis, manager of the Special Economic Zone of Liepāja (SEZ).
Other major ports of Latvia are also experiencing an increase in cargo from Central Asian countries. This week a delegation of Central Asian countries visited the ports, signing an agreement on cutting red tape and enhanced cooperation in the development of new, no longer Russian-involving and therefore longer and more expensive transit corridors.
“If the economic operator ships, bypassing the Russian railway, to Europe, it is clear that it is not possible economically, so where such corridors are currently being developed, there is co-financing, both from countries from which products are shipped and from a separate special fund; the United States also co-finance, the European Union co-finances,” said the Latvian Stevedore Company Association Council Chairman Āris Ozoliņš.
The experts could not state the level of co-financing of certain new transport corridors, but there was the expectation that less co-financing would be needed as freight flows in the new corridors grow.