Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in ASEM Forum: Lithuania is Asia-convenient European logistics centre at intersection of traffic flows


2016 07 15

Photo Adomas Mickevičius | LRVK
Photo Adomas Mickevičius | LRVK

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius participates in the 11th Asia-Europe High-Level Meeting (ASEM) in Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital. On Friday, the Lithuanian Prime Minister addressed the session (ASEM Partnership Promotion: In Search for New Links), intended to stimulate the development of closer ties between the two continents.

According to the Prime Minister, a well-developed transport and services infrastructure helps to become part of the global market chain, but this calls for joint efforts of business and governments.

“As a North-South and East-West international traffic intersection, Lithuania is an important logistics centre”, said the Prime Minister. Therefore, it is worthwhile making use of the transit hubs like the port of Klaipėda and other logistics chains for the growing trade between the two continents.

According to the Prime Minister, Lithuania realised a decade ago that transport connectivity was a prerequisite for economic growth, and thus in deed of development: “It was Lithuania who initiated discussion at ASEM on transport theme in the first meeting of transport ministers held in 2009 in Vilnius. Here, a dialogue started on how to improve communication between the countries of the two continents, and to develop closer economic ties.”

The Prime Minister noted that Lithuania, in record time, completed the construction of the new European standard gauge railway section to Poland, thus integrating the Baltic region in the European rail network. Preparations are made to post invitations for bids for the management of the three international airports through concession. The Head of Government invited investors to actively participate in the largest public-private partnership project in the transport sector.

The Prime Minister’s speech also touched upon the regional problem of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict: “I note that the military actions challenging Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty cannot be tolerated for this not to reoccur in other parts of the world”, said the Lithuanian Head of Government.

With reference to one of this year’s topics of ASEM – women empowerment across all areas of life – the Prime Minister invited the guests to participate in the international conference dedicated to the role of women in the economy and the labour market to be held next year in May in Vilnius.
This year, the ASEM is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It was founded back in 1996 as a means for European-Asian dialogue and cooperation. Every two years, about 50 ASEM heads of state and government, as well as the top officials of the European Union, the European Commission and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), gather together to determine priorities of the ASEM. These high-level meetings are held alternately in Asia and Europe, the previous meeting was held in 2014 in Milan.