Ex­perts: Rail Baltica – con­nec­tion that ben­e­fits ev­ery­one

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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.

LETA

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