The proposal was made in view of Kazakhstan’s great role in development of the New Silk Road and Latvia’s contribution to facilitation of transport in Eurasia.
Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) during his visit to Astana met with Roman Vasilenko, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan and the co-chairman of the Latvia-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission and told him that Latvia was interested in further development of political and economic ties with Kazakhstan which was its largest trade partner in Central Asia.
It was agreed to hold the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission in early October this year to discuss cooperation in trade, education and science, transport, agriculture and tourism, including medical tourism.
Augulis also met with Asset Idekeshev, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Kazakhstan. They discussed Latvia’s offer for Eurasian transport, the plans of the Latvian national airline airBaltic to launch flights to Kazakhstan in 2017, and the agenda of the first meeting of the transport working group in the Latvia-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission.
During the meeting with Rapil Zhoshybayev, Commissioner for Expo Astana 2017, the Latvian transport minister praised progress in organization of the trade fair and choice of the event’s theme – Future Energy.
Augulis also met with Askar Mamin, President of the national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. The Kazakh railway company is a strategically important transit partner for the Latvian state-owned railway company Latvijas Dzelzcels in the transport corridor to Southeast Asia. Baltika Tranzit container train had been running between the two countries since 2003 but there is still potential for closer cooperation and increased cargo flows.
The Latvian transport minister is on a working visit to Kazakhstan on May 24-25 to attend the Astana Economic Forum.