Prime Minister hopeful about larger trade and freight flows between Lithuania and China

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2017 11 28

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The Prime Minister has attended the meeting of the Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European States in Hungary. The Prime Minister highlighted Lithuania’s interest in continuous development of the EU-Chinese relations, especially in the sphere of transport and logistics.

“Lithuania sees the 16+1 platform as an additional impetus to strengthening partnership and developing ever closer economic and commercial ties. I would identify the following priorities of Lithuania in the cooperation between the Central and Eastern Europe and China: first, transport and logistics; second, agriculture; and third, financial services and e-commerce’, said Saulius Skvernelis.

The Prime Minister expressed his hope that the joint political will to develop cooperation in the transport and logistics sector would result in growing freight and trade volumes and mutual investment.

The Prime Minister emphasised at the meeting of the Heads of Government that Lithuania has a very well developed service and railway infrastructure. The Klaipėda Seaport plays a special role due to its geographical position, as it is located on the axis of transport flows between Europe and Asia. Hence, the Lithuanian Government has initiated a large-scale development of the Klaipėda Seaport’, noted Mr Skvernelis.

Referring to cooperation in agriculture, the Prime Minister stressed that Lithuania sought consistent deeper cooperation with China and therefore in May 2018 it would host a meeting of the 16+1 Ministers of Agriculture during the region's largest international exhibition for agriculture and food industry “Agrobalt”.

Mr Skvernelis also noted that, alongside shared economic interests, strong mutual relations are best reflected by cultural cooperation and people-to-people contacts. Therefore, the Prime Minister extended an invitation to the representatives of the countries participating in the meeting and to the people of their countries to visit Lithuania next year, when it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the modern State of Lithuania.

After the meeting of the Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European States, a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Lithuania and China on cooperation following the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road initiative. The Memorandum of Understanding covers transport, logistics, infrastructure, technological innovation and other areas. For Lithuania, the Memorandum was signed by the Vice Minister  for Transport and Communications, Ričardas Degutis.