By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan and Lithuania are on their way to bind relations in transport area, especially in connecting railways, Lithuanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Valdas Lastauskas said in an exclusive interview with Azernews.
In this regard, he underlined that the Viking project which was launched in Klaipeda port and extends to the Baltic Sea.
“Now it is extremely popular in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and other partners among Scandinavian countries,” Lastauskas said.
He went on to say that it is a good opportunity to link the Viking project with such transport corridors as South-West and East-West.
Touching upon the cooperation in the ICT sector between the two countries, the ambassador noted that this would be a good practice since Azerbaijan has a good experience in the e-government, while IT government exists in Lithuania for 10-15 years already, where each citizen is connected to electronic bank system, can use all government services related to taxes, social work etc.
Speaking of the ways to increase investors' interest in economies of both countries, the ambassador noted that events organized by embassies in Vilnius and Baku, as well as the latest meeting in Sumgait Technologies Park, where many investors participated.
Such events are best examples for investors, he said, adding that they show that it is possible to do bussiness here and that it is supported.
“The same happens in our country, when inviting investors from Azerbaijan and showing them that the bussiness can be done here,” Lastauskas said.
Finally, turning to the sectors of economy in which Lithuania is interested to invest, the ambassador said that, first of all, ICT is the major priority, adding that Lithuania and Azerbaijan also have a potential for further cooperation in agricultural sector.
Azerbaijan and Lithuania enjoy great relations and strive to bring them to a higher level by implementing projects in transport and logistics. 2019 marks the 100 years since the two countries have first established diplomatic relations since in mid-war period there was a consular section of Lithuania in Baku.
Lithuania has established a well-functioning multimodal transport and logistics system and plays an important transit country role in the East-West and North-South corridors.
Moreover, the two countries' cooperation will enter a new stage in case of the accession of Azerbaijan to the international combined train project the "Viking Train", which links the network of sea container lines of the Baltic and the Black seas, Mediterranean and Caspian seas. It is a joint project of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine railways, stevedoring companies in Klaipeda, Odessa and Chernomorsk seaports, connecting Baltic and Black seas with railways. The regular runs were launched on February 6, 2003. In May 2016, Azerbaijan has signed a protocol about the joining of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC to the "Viking train" project.
The main benefits of the Viking train include lower shipping cost, fixed schedule, reduced transit time, safety and security of goods, facilitated customs and border procedures, linkage with Baltic and Black seas and project’s environment-friendliness.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz