Photo: Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema
Originally published in HR E-Zine 3/2017 on page 10."Transport is truly important for Latvia, especially because we have three ice-free seaports and an efficient railway infrastructure leading to Eurasian markets. This makes our country very attractive for transportation and logistics of various kinds of goods, ranging from coal, oil products, timber, and automotive manufacturing products to large quantities of textile, household, electronics, food and other products transported in containers. And it is so important nowadays, when we have the Chinese coming into this part of world. For instance, as a result of a very active work in 2016 and 2017, Latvia has established strong partnerships with the Chinese, Kazakhstani, Russian, Belarusian, Uzbekistani, Azerbaijani, Iranian, and Indian railway companies and manufacturers. Thus, the Latvian logistics sector is able to offer a range of new container train routes between Asia and Europe. The so-called New Silk Road is more than three times faster than sea routes connecting the same locations, hence it is the most advantageous way to transport fast moving consumer goods. For instance, the road from Eastern China to Riga takes up to 12 days, and the rail from India to Riga – up to 10 days. Moreover, sea routes connecting the ice-free ports of Riga, Ventspils, and Liepāja in Latvia and Scandinavia and Germany allow for reaching most part of Europe in two days. I’m telling all of this to provide the background for what I do, and what I bring to this year’s TOC, at the invitation of Extron Baltic. I quickly realized that this is one of the major events in the industry, offering not only exposure to its key players, but also crucial networking opportunities. It was especially important to me, because our agency represents Latvia in the Netherlands. In 2017 our Dutch office relocated from the Hague to Amsterdam, and has been promoting what we call the Latvian logistics hub. Apart from Extron, as many as four Latvian companies attended this year’s TOC Europe: Jaunzeltiņi (a terminal operator), Riga Universal Terminal, NK Tehnoloģija (serving port engineering solutions), and Bleste – manufacturer of cargo handling equipment. Each showcased a really high-quality product line, and I would like to express the hope that more and more Latvian logistics companies will participate in the event in the coming years."