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Latvia pursues new cooperation opportunities with B&R Initiative

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

05-17-2017 11:49 BJT

By Li Shouen, CCTV.com Panview Editor-in-chief

"Latvia is actively pursuing new cooperation opportunities within the Belt and Road initiative. And we are very proud to have already realized several cooperation projects." said Uldis Augulis, Minister of Transport of Latvia, while delivering an address to delegates to the Thematic Session on Infrastructure Connectivity, one of the 6 parallel sessions of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14.

Augulis stressed the excellent geographical location of Latvia in Eurasia, right in the middle of the Baltic region and forming the external border of the European Union with Russia and Belarus, makes it a qualified partner for B&R.

With this location and its well-developed transport system, including rail, road, sea and also aviation connections, the Minister believes Latvia can not only be an active participants in transit corridors for cargo shipments from Asia, but can organize reverse flows to China.

He told delegates that in November last year, Riga, capital of Latvia, welcomed the first container train from Yiwu, an eastern Chinese city, and last week, Latvia dispatched its first train from Riga to Kashi, a city in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The Minister also shared with the delegates 6 measures Latvia will take to participate in the B&R Initiative:

- To improve a legal basis with the partner countries;

- To participate in multilateral cooperation formats such as ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) and 16+1;

- To participate in EU-China connectivity discussions and support an extension of the European TEN-T network;

- To promote consultations on trilateral cooperation mechanisms, such as Latvia-China-Belarus and Latvia-China-Russia, which may allow countries to set aside their differences and focus on common targets;

- Setting up special transport representatives at Embassies of Latvia in relating countries including China, Kazakhstan and Russia, etc., to promote cooperation;

- To facilitate connectivity development between the Eurasian Economic Union, bridging European Union with Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Finally, he called on all relevant participants to utilize their own uniqueness to create more effective transport connectivity across Eurasia.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

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