Rail boss set to become port boss

A commission assessing candidates for the Freeport of Riga CEO has picked Latvijas Dzelzcels railroad company council chairman Ansis Zeltins as the best candidate.

The commission's chairman, Maritime Administration of Latvia head Janis Krastins told the LETA newswire at the beginning of the week that the commission had shortlisted three candidates.

In total, 24 candidates had applied for the vacant position of the Freeport of Riga CEO.

The Freeport of Riga board will interview Zeltins on June 28. The Freeport of Riga board chairman Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Riga political party) believes that the candidate has to receive unanimous support of all board members. If he does, the port will ask the transport minister to confirm Zeltins in his new job.

According to Latvijas Dzelzcels website, Zeltins has a Master's degree in business management from the University of Salford and Master's degree in oceanic transport from the Latvian Maritime Academy.

Since 2000, Zeltins has been working at various transport companies, including the Maritime Administration, shipping company Latvijas Kugnieciba's subsidiaries LSC Marine Training and LSC Shipmanagement. He has also worked as transport advisor at the Latvian Representation in the European Union.

As reported, applicants for the job had to have higher education in management, finance, economy, engineering, transport or maritime education. The candidates also had to have the experience of working in an executive position, for a private or public company or organization, for at least five years. All candidates must have perfect command of Latvian and - at the very least - speak English and Russian.

The previous Freeport of Riga CEO Loginovs stepped down effective March 10. He had been the freeport's CEO since 1998.

The position of port boss is one of the most important and lucrative in the country. Loginovs managed to bat away numerous attempts to unseat him amid criticism of the often opaque and politically-influenced practises of the business.

The board of the port consists of political appointees: four from Riga City Council, and four officials, nominated by the Cabinet – the representatives nominated by the Minister of Economy, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport and Minister of Environmental Protection.

Around 20,000 people are employed at the port, making it one of the biggest and richest institutions in the country.

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