Foreign Policy 2016 05 30
Prime Minister in the Czech Republic: Lithuania can become a trade gateway between East and West
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius who is on an official visit in the Czech Republic today has participated in a forum “Lithuanian transport solutions for Czech enterprises business”. During the event a cooperation agreement was signed between AB “Lietuvos Geležinkeliai” and the freight railway transport company “ČD Cargo”.
“Lithuania welcomes the long-standing partnership with the Czech Republic in the logistics sector. Today we already have examples of effective common decisions – fast, comfortable and secure transport of passengers and freight which meets the highest international requirements”, said Prime Minister Butkevičius. Modern Czech shunting locomotives operate on Lithuanian railroads. A company owned by the holding “Škoda Transportation” has built two floor trains operating between Vilnius and Trakai, and Vilnius and Kaunas; they are currently also constructing three two-floor trains for the international itinerary Vilnius – Minskas. “I encourage the Czech companies to show a more active interest in the proposals of their current and potential partners in Lithuania in order to give new impetus for our partnership”, stressed the Head of the Government.
The Prime Minister said that due to the increasing competition on the freight market decisions need to be taken allowing to further develop the logistics network. Lithuania may propose how to encourage the movement of goods between the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Asian markets. “We invite the Czech companies to actively use the North Sea-Baltic Corridor, as well as to assess the prospects of the Rail Baltica project. I am confident that Lithuania as the Czech partner can become a trade gateway between East and West”, said Prime Minister Butkevičius.
Lithuania and the Czech Republic are working together in developing the 8th Rail Freight Corridor North Sea – Baltic. After the Corridor started operating, it has allowed for fast and easy rail freight services from Lithuania to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is expected that it will bring new companies and cargo to the Lithuanian railway sector. The cooperation agreement between AB “Lietuvos Geležinkeliai” and the freight railway transport company “ČD Cargo” will encourage the freight transport to the target countries through Lithuania via railway infrastructure.