Riga port is one of the key gateways to Baltic region
Mumbai: The Latvian government is in initial discussions with India to invest in expansion of its Riga port in the Baltic Sea, two persons in the know said recently.
“Top government officials from Latvia met the shipping ministry last week. The discussions are preliminary. They have given a proposal and have called for expressions of interest. They want India to respond,” said one of the persons quoted above, adding no final decision has been made yet. He didn’t want to be identified.
In a meeting last week, both countries committed to enhance bilateral trade and explore opportunities via the Riga port, one of the key gateways to the Baltic region.
Cargo trans-shipment capacity at the terminals of the port accounts for 58.2 million tonnes per annum. In 2014, it was the biggest port of the Baltic States by cargo turnover that reached 41.1million tonnes, according to the figures on
the port’s official website.
India’s exports to Latvia were worth $98.12 million in 2014, down 3% year-on-year.
In February end, the Indian ambassador to Sweden and Latvia, visited the Riga port to explore the opportunity to develop a cargo distribution and consolidation centre on the Kundzinsala island, according to a recent official statement from the port.
India had last year set up an entity called Indian Ports Global to make investments in port projects overseas.
It is in talks with Bangladesh to set up the green field Payra port in the Patuakhali district in the country. The external affairs ministries of both sides have already held a preliminary round of talks for the port development.
One of the persons cited above said a proposal prepared by British consultant HR Wallingford is now being studied by the external affairs ministry and will then come to the ministry of shipping for its perusal.
Also, India, Afghanistan and Iran have finalised an agreement to operationalise a strategic port in Chabahar, Iran.
The port will give India much-needed access to Afghanistan in the absence of transit rights through Pakistan.