President of “Latvian Railway” visits India: Latvia as a gateway for Indian goods to Europe and CIS

10.02.2017. 15:25

On 3 February President of the state-owned JSC “Latvian Railway” Mr. Edvīns Bērziņš started his first working visit to India, seeking greater cooperation in expanding a freight route between Asia and Europe.

During the visit Mr. Bērziņš met with India’s Commerce Secretary Smt. Rita Teaotia in order to discuss the support measures for Indian entrepreneurs who use Latvia’s ports as a gateway for exports/ imports to Northern Europe and CIS markets. Latvian side expressed its full commitment to cooperate with Indian partners in order to develop a competitive transport and logistics proposal on the given route.

In the afternoon, the President of SJSC “Latvian Railway” held talks at the Indian Ministry of Shipping with Secretary Shri Rajive Kumar, who presented modernization plans of Indian ports suggesting a cooperation with Latvia in the maritime sector. Later that day, Mr. Bērziņš also had an engaging meeting with his counterpart, Chairman of the Indian Railway Board, Shri A.K. Mital. Both meetings were attended by Captain Avinash Batra, Latvia’s Honorary Consul in Mumbai.

Over the round of interactions parties discussed ways how “Latvian Railway” could enhance India’s connectivity within Eurasia and how to synchronize it with other transport corridors within the region, especially the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for moving freight between India, Iran, Central Asia, Russia and Europe.

Between official meetings, Mr. Bērziņš also visited the National Rail Museum and was welcomed by its Director, Mr. Uday Singh Mina, who offered an insight into the impressive history of railways in India.

While representing the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Bērziņš signed a memorandum of understanding with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The Memorandum institutionalizes a framework for joint activities - regular meetings, conferences, seminars - in the areas of common interest of LCCI and FICCI members.

The visit took place in the wider context of an international transport exhibition “Logistics 2017” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from 2 to 4 February 2017 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Latvian transport sector was represented under a joint national stand involving SJSC "Latvian Railway" and key industry professionals. Prior to the exhibition, on 31 January the Embassy of Latvia in New Delhi hosted a networking reception for the delegation and India's leading transport and logistics companies.