A seminar on Rail Baltica, the largest infrastructure project in the history of Baltic states, was held at the Finnish embassy in Vilnius on March 30. The event coincided with a visit by Ms. Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland, to Vilnius. The event was designed to provide first-hand information on project implementation to Finnish rail infrastructure engineering and design as well as railroad construction companies, to enable them to meet local companies working in the field of rail infrastructure and to open ways for their future participation in various phases of Rail Baltica project.
Minister Berner opened the seminar, emphasizing the need to make Rail Baltica commercially competitive. Commercial competitiveness implies that Rail Baltica has to attract large volumes of passengers and cargo flows. Since Baltic states and Finland are sparcely populated, the only way to create significant traffic on this line will be new cargo flows. Minister Berner proposed to consider an extension of Rail Baltica through Finland all the way to the Arctic. This would open Arctic shipping routes from Asia for cargo transhipment to continental Europe via Rail Baltica.
Mr. Arijandas Šliupas, vice-minister of transport and communications, presented Lithuanian government‘s view of Rail Baltica. His presentation was followed by a comprehensive overview of Rail Baltica project in Lithuania offered by Mr. Vidas Žvinys, deputy director of Rail Baltica directorate at Lithuanian Railways and Mr. Virginijus Jastremskas, Infrastructure developmnent director at Lithuanian Railways. This presentation gave a detailed overview of procurement projects, qualification requirements for contractors and other practical aspects of Rail Baltica project in Lithuania.
Finnish companies attending the seminar were from the top echelon of Finnish infrastructure engineering and construction sector. Each of these companies had an opportunity to present themselves. The event ended with a networking session.
Companies expressed a high level of satisfaction with the event and a readiness to pursue the opportunities presented by Rail Baltica.
Finpro country respresentative