Latvia wants to distribute Chinese goods in the region - ministry

On Monday Latvia is playing host for the Transport Ministers' meeting of the Central and Eastern European countries and China ("16+1") summit. Latvia wants to distribute Chinese goods in the Baltics and Northern Europe, Andris Maldups, transit policy director at the Transport Ministry, told Latvian Radio Monday.

The Transport Ministers' meeting is being held ahead of the Prime Ministers' conference in October or November 2016. 

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis described the meeting to Latvian Radio 4 as preparation for the PMs' conference.

"By autumn, when there'll be a general conference and when the PM of China will be visiting Latvia, we have to have our offers fully prepared," said Kučinskis.

"We have railways working separately as well as three ports competing with one another, and we don't have a portfolio of joint offers," Kučinskis told Latvian Radio 4.

While according to Maldups, Latvia sees China as a partner for diversifying cargo flow. Latvia's main offer is distributing Chinese goods from Latvian warehouses to the Baltics and the northern countries. 

As a total of 26 million people reside in the region, it would be "a significant thing" if goods for the market would be distributed from Latvian warehouses, said Maldups.

Maldups said that Latvia and China are discussing projects related to logistics, building new logistics centers and terminals.

He said China has expressed interest on the proposed high-speed rail line Rail Baltica, and Latvia sees potential for cooperation in aviation too, by launching direct flights and attracting investment to the airBaltic national airline.

China is represented at the meeting by Vice Minister of Transport Dai Dongchang, who'll be meeting his Latvian counterpart Uldis Augulis in the afternoon.

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