As regards freight transport by rail, the Transport Minister said that a large and not yet sufficiently exploited market was rail freight transport at the local, Baltic level.
"Operators here still use road transport. Over 60 million tonnes per year are transported within the territory of Latvia, but only some 2-3 million tonnes by rail. So a huge difference. Here we see an opportunity for both wood products and grain products during harvesting. The local market, the Baltic market – this would be where we would have to move more to the railway, to avoid road congestion," said the Minister.
He said that since the Latvian railway had historically had close cooperation with Russia and Belarus, local, Baltic-scale freight transport by rail was less developed. "There was no such goal to develop perhaps, and there have been no ambitions to develop the local market, other lines of cooperation. This is what we have to do now. As a new minister, I will have to get this giant in motion. I do not exclude that there will also be changes in the company itself, restructuring with subsidiary companies.
"The main aim is to make this company modern, able to compete in modern conditions," said Vitenbergs.