On Friday, the Committee on Economics, Energy and Innovations of the Baltic Assembly (BA) held a sitting at the Seimas to discuss transport and infrastructure projects, further cooperation of Baltic and Nordic countries in energy security, energy supply and economy.
Giedrė Purvaneckienė
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

At the sitting speeches were delivered by President of the BA and Chairwoman of the Seimas Delegation to the BA Giedrė Purvaneckienė, Chairman of the BA Committee on Economics, Energy and Innovations Bronius Pauza, Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius, Deputy Minister of Energy Aleksandras Spruogis, Deputy Minister of Economy Gediminas Onaitis.

Chairman of the BA committee Pauza said that in order to enhance competitiveness it is crucial to solve issues in the areas of transport, economic cooperation, energy, infrastructure, innovation and knowledge society.

Minister of Transport and Communications Sinkevičius noted that construction of the standard gauge railway track project Rail Baltica is a priority. "All the time we sought for a new fast European gauge track to be laid through the most economically viable and effective route. I am pleased that experts' conclusions have confirmed our arguments that Vilnius connection has an important economic factor for Lithuania and the whole Baltic region," said the transport minister.

According to Sinkevičius, the main task in the nearest future is to submit to the European Commission the application for financing the joint Rail Baltica 2 project. It has to be submitted by 26 February 2015.

"It is projected that 25,000 people and 15.8 million tonnes of cargo will be carried per day by Rail Baltica in 2040.

Deputy energy minister Spruogis discussed energy security challenges. He informed the participants that on 14 January Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian energy ministers signed a memorandum providing for collective actions on how to ensure a fully functional gas market in the region, continue synchronisation projects etc.

Deputy Economy Minister Onaitis emphasised the significance of economic cooperation between the Baltic States and the need to create common instruments promoting economic growth and ensuring employment.

"It is important to improve business environment and financing of small and medium-sized enterprises - to create a transparent business regulation and competitiveness environment, to reduce obstacles to establish and develop business in the Baltic States," said the deputy minister of economy.

The minister said that one of the instruments proving practical cooperation of the Baltic countries is the Baltic Innovation Fund which was established in 2012. The fund's goal is to promote venture capital investment in Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian small and medium-sized businesses.

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