Experts: Rail Baltica – connection that benefits everyone
The essence of Rail Baltica project is not combating the trends currently present in the world, but rather using them as an advantage, says advisor to the Bank of Latvia Andris Strazds. He adds that more and more economic and social development is centered in large and urban city centres.
International conference Rail Baltica Global Forum 2017 – Building a New Economic Corridor gathered not only an impressive number of speakers, but also many influential officials, politicians, decision makers and experts from Baltic, EU and other countries, as reported by Ilze Rassa, who is responsible for communication and cooperation with state institutions in Latvia.
Participants of the international conference agreed that it was an important turning point for the project’s development, because during the conference participants were presented with an analysis of Rail Baltica project’s costs and benefits, which proved the project’s worth, said Rassa.
The main experts’ conclusions about the project were published in Riga after the international conference.
One of the participants of the conference, advisor to the Bank of Latvia Andris Strazds, expressed his opinion about the massive project: «The essence of Rail Baltica project is not combating the trends currently present in the world, but rather using them as an advantage. It is important to remember that benefits from Rail Baltica exceed the project’s costs. We believe this was presented very clearly during the conference. The map played a major part as well, showing that the three Baltic States together are worth more than three other countries put together. I believe it was a very clear reminder for Baltic States to cooperate with one another.»
«This project should not be viewed solely from the perspective of large metropolises,» adds Talis Linkaits, head of Baltic Sea special planning initiative VASAB. Linkaits adds: «We have an opportunity to develop regions adjacent to secondary cities. For Latvia those are Bauska and Salacgriva. The project will create new development opportunities thanks to connections to large Baltic and European cities.»
Pernava Mayor Romek Kosenkranius mentioned during the conference that many have already expressed interest to relocating from Tallinn to Pernava if connection with the capital improved. Pernava also hopes to attract Latvians working in Riga.
«Rail Baltica will have a major impact on regional connectivity among all three Baltic States. It will also affect Poland because there is a very clear tourism flow from Poland and Vilnius. This form of transport, I believe, has great development potential,» says Jakub Kapturzak, deputy director of Polish Infrastructure and Construction Ministry’s Railway Transport Department.
He also said the conference was a major step towards convincing Poland that this project will be realized.