In a meeting with president Edvīns Bērziņš of VAS Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz) on 29 September in Riga, Kazakhstan Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin indicated that Latvia had been selected as the Kazakhstan’s main cargo logistics and distribution hub in the Baltic countries and invited to enhance cooperation to develop Khorgos Port at the border of Kazakhstan and China.
A. Mamin noted that when considering the increase in the number of containerised cargoes in the railway system of Kazakhstan, the number of containerised cargoes bound towards Latvia could amount to 200 thousand container units by 2020 with a further growing potential. “This is a significant amount. We have chosen Latvia as the place to establish a logistics and distribution hub for the Baltic region; therefore, we rely on close cooperation,” stressed A. Mamin.
During the visit of Kazakhstan Vice Prime Minister, LDz president E. Bērziņš and vice president Sanzhar Yelubayev of Kazakhstan railway signed a memorandum on cooperation in development of transit routes, also joint efforts to develop the new logistics centre of Khorgos Port at the border of Kazakhstan and China and to ensure new transit flow through it. According to the memorandum, both parties undertake to ensure containerised cargo transport from China through Kazakhstan to Riga, as well as to mutually cooperate to facilitate processing of the forwarded cargoes in the territory of Khorgos Port for their transportation to Europe and back to China.
On the other hand, LDz subsidiary LDz Loģistika signed a transport expedition contract with Kazakhstan Railway subsidiary KTZ Express.
As a confirmation of starting a successful cooperation, exactly today the first container train organised by Kazakhstan Railway was launched from Urumqi city in China in the route Urumqi-Altynkol-Riga-Rotterdam. From Riga, the cargo will be transported to Rotterdam by a sea route.
Edvīns Bērziņš, “Kazakhstan is a very important partner to ensure the transit flow between China and Europe, and establishment of a new strategic partnership is decisive for attraction of new freight traffic. Kazakhstan, similarly as Latvia considers that ensuring freight traffic from China is very significant, and Khorgos Port at the border of China is quite a farsighted solution. We should likewise be forward-looking and participate in development of this, as well as the Belarus oncoming Big Stone project and other strategically significant projects that would ensure increase in cargo flow.”
Negotiations about cooperation in relation to Khorgos Port were started this summer at events of the Transit and Logistics Week organised by LDz in the capital city of Kazakhstan during the international exhibition EXPO Astana 2017, where A. Mamin and the highest management of Kazakhstan Railway took part.
Khorgos Port is among the most important projects for development of logistics sector of Kazakhstan bringing future prospects for attracting and processing new cargo flows.