Last week the Port of Riga welcomed a delegation from the Port of Shenzhen, including representatives of the city municipality and management of the port authority, as well as port entrepreneurs — representatives of all four container terminals of the Port of Shenzhen. Since the Port of Shenzhen is a cooperation port for Riga, the goal of the visit was to become personally acquainted with the operations of the Port of Riga and to find ways for even closer cooperation.
Dong Yanze, Head of the Shenzhen Port and Cargo Transport Authority: “We are ready to discuss various possibilities for cooperation with the Port of Riga. We want to discuss direct cargo transport by both sea and rail. The Port of Shenzhen is only 38 years old, yet it has become one of the main transit hubs of South-East Asia. Riga is a key player in the Baltic Region. This alone is a good argument in favour of developing mutual cooperation.”
The Port of Shenzhen is the third largest container port in the world. Last year it handled more than 25 million TEU. The first special economic area in China was created there, allowing Shenzhen to transform over two decades from a small country town into a metropole with more than 10 million inhabitants. This summer, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Port of Riga and the Port of Shenzhen in China. According to the data of the Port of Shenzhen, more than 12 thousand TEU containers have already been sent to Riga via Hamburg, Rotterdam and Singapore.
On 31 October, the Shenzhen Port Authority, in cooperation with the Freeport of Riga, organised the seminar China Shenzhen Port Outreach Seminar 2018, during which the companies of the Port of Riga and representatives of the Latvian logistics sector had an opportunity to meet the Shenzhen Port Authority and entrepreneurs in person. Opening the seminar, Dong Yanze highlighted that the Port of Riga is considered to be an important port of the New Silk Road and its geographical location in the centre of the Baltic States is especially valued. The main goal of the seminar, according to Dong Yanze, is to promote mutually beneficial cooperation to allow both ports to achieve a common goal — to become internationally important and strong ports.
In turn, entrepreneurs assessed the work done by the Freeport of Riga Authority in promoting cooperation with Chinese transport and logistics sector. Jānis Bikše, Member of the Board at SIA Systems Logistics, operating in the Port of Riga, believes: “The management and entrepreneurs of the Port of Shenzhen are not here because they found us on the map, but thanks to our people from both the Freeport of Riga and Latvian Railways, who went to China and spoke about cooperation.” In the opinion of entrepreneurs, Latvia has good chances of filling certain niches in the Chinese-European transit market.