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Estonian company signs contract to bring railway route from China to Muuga.

A subsidiary of the Estonian logistics company GTS Express entered into a cooperation contract with the Chinese railway, in the framework of which initially two trains per week should start arriving from Xian to Muuga starting from June 2018.

GTS Rail, a subsidiary of GTS Express, in the Chinese city of Xian on April 19 signed a cooperation contract with Xian International Inland Port Multimodal Transportation Co. Ltd. for the promotion of railway transport, which would help increase trading with Estonia as well as with the European Union, the company said.

This is part of bringing the Belt and Road Initiative backed by the Chinese government to Estonia. With the contract, the Chinese side agreed to expand subsidies also to the Estonian route. At present, altogether four routes such as this have been created from Xian to Europe--to Hungary, Germany, Poland and Finland, while Estonia will be the fifth.

According to current plans, the first train is expected to arrive in Muuga in June 2018 and the plan initially is to send two trains per week, later even more. "The new trade route is of critically great significance, as it is twice or up to three times as fast as the seaway. This will give Estonian and European Union goods to China and goods from there to here a new, fast and effective transport possibility and revive Estonia as a historic transit country," the company said.

Marko Lastik, chairman of the management board of GTS Express and member of the management board of GTS Rail, expressed joy that a long-time work and presence in China have come to a result that will promote the Estonian economy and trading not only between two countries, but between the entire EU and China. "Entering into the contract will definitely offer greater trading possibilities, promote export and import and offer more work to local companies, at the same time ensuring a stable price and transit time across the year," he said.

"The objective of the signed railway agreement is broader than Estonia, but possibilities unopened until now will by now expand to also include Estonian e-trade companies and the logistics sector. In order to realize the potential in the future, the state of Estonia must contribute even more to its e-government solutions, which can make an additional cut to the length of the journey of the goods in this field, in close cooperation with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and others," Viljar Lubi, deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for economic development, said.

The signing of the agreement took place during a visit of a business delegation led by Lubi to China. The visit was organized by Enterprise Estonia in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Estonian embassy in Beijing. The objective of the visit was to discuss the plan of action for the next six months concerning the e-trade and ICT cooperation agreements signed with China in November 2017.

BNS/TBT Staff

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Title Annotation:BALTIC NEWS
Publication:The Baltic Times (Riga, Latvia)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Apr 26, 2018
Words:502
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