Lithuania and Kazakhstan agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of transport and economics


2016 04 22


During the 11th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Commercial and Economic Cooperation of Lithuania–Kazakhstan, which was held in Astana, the countries noted bilateral interest to expand cooperation in the field of transport and to increase the volumes of transported freight. It was agreed to further increase cooperation in the field of tourism, information technology, agriculture and other areas. 

During the meeting, the Lithuanian and Kazakh policy makers focused on transporting by means of container trains and the possibility to increase the freight flows via the Port of Klaipėda as well as on the perspectives of developing common logistics system and cooperation in the field of aviation. 

According to the Head of the Lithuanian delegation and the Chair of the Lithuanian side of the Commission Evaldas Gustas, Kazakhstan was proposed to join the container train ‘Viking Train’ project, which could help expand the project geography as well as increase the freight flows. The container train ‘Viking Train’ is connecting the sea container line circuit of the Baltics with analogues systems of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The ‘Viking Train’ transports both universal and specialised containers. 

‘It is in our interest to considerably broaden the scope of this project and to expand a transport corridor from the Scandinavian countries via Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan and China,’ Minister Gustas said.

Lithuania also proposed to Kazakhstan to take part in the project of the development of logistics centers in Vilnius and Kaunas and to contribute to the development of terminals. Minister Gustas said that the businessmen of Kazakhstan could construct here warehouses, establish logistics and processing companies and offer logistic services in the territory of the centres.

At the meeting, the Lithuanian representatives expressed concern about the downtimes of container trains on the Chinese–Kazakh border. Trains which go to Lithuania often get blocked there due to lengthy customs procedures; this in fact means that the costs of services are increased and the competitiveness is reduced. Lithuania has requested to consider the possibility to apply simplified customs procedures for container trains which go to China and then back through the territory of Kazakhstan.

There is another transportation-related proposal of Lithuania, which covers a wider use of the Port of Klaipėda’s capacities and increase the freight transportation flows via the Port of Klaipėda. 

At the meeting, direct flight possibilities between Lithuania and Kazakhstan were considered; both sides agreed to discuss them in more detail later on. Moreover, the representatives of Kazakhstan encouraged Lithuanian companies to discuss the possibilities to take part in various investment projects in Kazakhstan. 

At the end of the 11th meeting, the Heads of the delegations, Minister for the Economy Evaldas Gustas and Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan Natalija Koržova, signed the Meeting Minutes and agreed to arrange the 12th meeting of the Intergovernmental  Commission on Commercial and Economic Cooperation of Lithuania–Kazakhstan in Lithuania in 2017.

During his visit the Kazakhstan, Minister for the Economy Gustas met with Minister for the Economy of Kazakhstan Dosaev Erbolat and the EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybaev; he also visited the Lithuanian Embassy. At the meetings, bilateral cooperation possibilities in a wide range of areas were discussed.

Along with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy, representatives from the Ministries of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Energy and Agriculture, a representative from the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority as well as specialists from AB Lietuvos Geležinkeliai and representatives from the Embassy of Lithuania in Kazakhstan were present at the meeting of the Commission.   

Following the data of Statistics Lithuania, in 2015, trade turnover with Kazakhstan made EUR 863 million, of which commodity exports made EUR 387 million and import – EUR 296 million. Among 187 trade partners of Lithuania in 2015, Kazakhstan ranked 20 in terms of trade turnover and import, and 16 in terms of export. In 2015, direct investments from Kazakhstan made EUR 3.53 million, which is twice as much compared to the same period of 2014.