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LDz and Azerbaijan Railways to pursue closer cooperation

With the aim of deepening cooperation between Azerbaijani and Latvian railways, SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (LDz) Chairman of the Board Rinalds Pļavnieks met with Azerbaijan Railways Chairman of the Board Rovshan Rustamov earlier this week. The heads of the two railway companies agreed on cooperation in rolling stock and locomotive repair, electrification, and also shared their experience of company restructuring.

“Since the restoration of Latvia’s independence, LDz has done a lot to become a modern company structured and managed at the European and global level. We are pleased that we can also share our experience with our colleagues in Azerbaijan, not only promoting cooperation in the railway industry, but also fostering successful corporate management at both countries’ railways,” emphasizes Rinalds Pļavnieks.

“At the moment, our aim is to turn the existing global challenges in the international transport industry into new business opportunities. Therefore it is very important to identify, as quickly as possible, solutions provided by new freight corridors and to be the first to be able to adapt and take advantage of the new opportunities. During the meeting with the representatives of Azerbaijan Railways, we agreed that the railways of both countries have common goals – development of the entire transport industry in line with modern-day requirements and increasing efficiency of the railways. As we pursue these objectives, competitiveness of the railways and also the volume of freight transportation in our joint infrastructure will increase,” says Rinalds Pļavnieks.

Rovshan Rustamov, head of Azerbaijan Railways, emphasized: “Our railway companies have cooperated very successfully in the past years, and we very much hope that we will be able to share our experience in company restructuring, railway electrification and locomotive modernization. As for freight transportation, Latvia could in the future become a consolidating country in the Middle Corridor transport system between Asian and Scandinavian countries.”

Chairman of the Board at SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš” Rinalds Pļavnieks, other representatives of LDz management, and a number of other Latvian businessmen arrived in Azerbaijan this week as part of Latvian President Egils Levits’ official visit to Azerbaijan. Rinalds Pļavnieks also participated in the Azerbaijan – Latvia Business Meeting organized by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan, where matters related to cooperation of industries and new forms of business activity were discussed.

LDz representatives also met with the management of TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia). The purpose of the organization is to strengthen economic relations, trade and transport in the regions of the Black Sea Basin, South Caucasus and Central Asia. TRACECA also promotes cargo transportation from China and other countries of the region in the Middle Corridor. The organization has 27 member countries, including the EU countries and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

During the meeting with representatives of Azerbaijan’s Alat Free Economic Zone, LDz representatives discussed opportunities to improve cooperation and integration between the parties involved in multimodal routes, including integrating a cargo airport that is being built in the Alat Free Economic Zone into sea and rail transport networks. The parties agreed to discuss the project at the upcoming Azerbaijan-Latvia forum in Riga.