Conference 2011

International conference
The Baltic Sea – gateway to Eurasia


Klaipedos University Campus, „Aula Magna“
H. Manto str. 84, Klaipeda, Lithuania
15-16 June 2011


The synergy of business, science and art – this was a non-standard idea by which international business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA engaged partners and received support from Lithuanian and Kazakh State authorities.

The adviser of the Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Salakys read the official greeting and the gratitude to the organisers of the Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius to the participants of the conference The Baltic Sea – gateway to Eurasia that took place in June.

The will to strengthen economical, cultural and social relationships between Europe and Asia
The event has already become a traditional one, where the Windrose awards of the magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA are handed, gathers together the politicians of Europe and Asia, professionals of maritime business, transport and logistics, the representatives of this field of science and this year it involved artists into the business environment.

The idea to organise a conference where the relevant transport problems were analysed  by the politicians, businessmen and scientists, where the international awards were handed for the most efficient, innovative business and scientific projects and the artistic interpretations gave inspiration and wakened business and scientific creational powers, was supported by  Organisation for Safety and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE), which is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania, it was also supported by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Lithuania, Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan and Lithuanian business, science and art structures.

Twelve subjects with different knowledge and know-how joined together for the implementation of this non-standard project: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Lithuania, Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Klaipeda, international business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA, Klaipeda University, Klaipeda Science and Technologies Park, logistics companies TL Nika Group and VPA Logistics, association Baltijos slenis (The Baltic valley), international fund  VIV Equal oportunities for all and Klaipeda culture and communications centre. Klaipeda Stevedoring Company (KLASCO) understood the necessity of the event and agreed to be the gold sponsor.

The organisers raised the ambitious goal – enliven and induce economic scientific and social cultural cooperation between Europe and Asia, bring closer people and nations living in Eurasian region.

The international conference The Baltic Sea – gateway to Eurasia, international exhibition of Lithuanian and Kazakh artists, Kazakh cinema days and international Windrose awards of JŪRA MOPE SEA achieved great attention and interest and were positively assessed by the participants of the event.  

Common customs environment will make transit more active

The main topic of the discussions – was West Europe – Southeast Asia: Silk Road or Sea Road? and it developed into two directions: political measures facilitating the movement of cargo and business practice. The first was painted in bright colours, the second one – „decorated“with border-crossing realities.

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Lithuania Galymzhan Koishybayev anticipates that common customs environment will facilitate the movement conditions of goods and the corridor West China – West Europe will become more attractive. And there should be a lot of prerequisites for international and national cooperation in the nearest future when the country develops transport infrastructure.  

"Economy is the background for cooperation. We are in close relationships with Lithuania. Lithuania is our closest partner not only among the Baltic States but all over EU. Kazakhstan has got great potential. It is transit transport and export of raw materials via Klaipeda port, creation of joint industrial companies in Kazakhstan and energy. The Cooperation Commission of our countries gathers annually and pushes our affairs forward," - said the Ambassador at the briefing answering the questions of journalists.  

Kazakhstan rapidly improves transport infrastructure

The representative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Kazakhstan Alija Murzalinova, presenting the guidelines of Kazakhstan transport policy in the report, stressed that during the nearest five-year period they are going to invest 18 billion US dollars to the development and transport safety measures of land motorways, air-lines and Aktau port.

The Silk Road corridor route which is under development from China to Europe covers 8,445 kilometres, including 2,787 kilometres pass via Kazakhstan. Last year 400 km of roads were constructed, this year – 1,000 kilometres. Presently, according to Murzalinova, the railway line to Turkmenistan is under construction as well as the second border-crossing point to China. The road construction works allow founding new companies and creating new job places, and strengthen the service sector.  

The head of international fund VIV Equal oportunities for all Valeriy Gulbas presented the idea of dry port following the example based on American logistics centres. The image of dry port is based on the motive of a cross-road – it is anticipated that the cargo from Kazakhstan spread to all directions. International and national prerequisites are already created. It is expected that by 2015 China trade flows will increase to 35 million TEU and the greater part of cargo of west China will be diverted via Kazakhstan.  

Border crossing capacity – the most important condition for the movement of goods
The expert of Kazakhstan Chamber of Economics Atameken Hakim Sabirov, representing business companies, gave a lot of questions to Lithuanian transport people concerning practical possibilities of Klaipeda port and analysed border-crossing capacity as the most important condition for the international movement of goods. He stressed that presently Kazakhstan used only 15 percent of transit potential. But land transport is becoming more mobile and transportation of goods from Southeast Asia via Kazakhstan to Europe shortens from 35 days transporting by sea to 10 days using land transport. Therefore, by 2015 when the roads are constructed as well as the border-crossing points, transit transportations by railways should increase by 2 times and by road transport – up to 3 times. Recently the common Kazakhstan and China information system is under creation and it is intended to include Russia because the present bottleneck of transit chain – is different documents and due to this fact there accumulate queues at the border-crossings. The clearing procedure of trains takes from 3 hours to 2 days, at the same time the recommendation of UN – is 1 hour.  

„According to the data of our carriers, up to 40 percent of transportation time is delays at border-crossings. It takes 7 days to transport cargo from China to Kazakhstan – 3.5 thousand kilometres, and from Almaty to Klaipeda – 5 thousand kilometres – 3.5 days. The border- crossing procedures are still under creation; we travel all over the world and learn. But Kazakhstan is the only state in Middle Asia that has joined European agreement concerning international combined train lines, and intends to shorten delays at border-crossings up to 30 minutes," - said  Sabirov. He confirmed that he wished to see with his own eyes how in Kena railway station between Lithuania and Belarus the customs clearance procedure lasts namely the time that was indicated by the representative of Lithuanian Customs Sarunas Avizienis in his report.

About the problems – openly
The report of Vytautas Varasimavicius received great interest and approval. The businessman working in Kazakhstan transport market for already 12 years, the founder of logistics company  TL Nika Group, reviewing the transit obstacles between Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania territories, was open and used rather critical words.

„We may praise our good port, but if we do not circulate information about it, then we have a product which is hidden under the counter. When I go to my clients and speak about Lithuania, nobody knows where Klaipeda is and they think that it is Riga. If we do not put efforts we will get nothing. Our company sends 25 trucks every week and each time we come across adventures that are created artificially and cannot be foreseen. At Lithuanian border-crossings there are queues, supply is detained, expenditures increase and production gets more expensive. Are we enemies to ourselves?" – Rhetorically asks the head of the company TL Nika Group. In his opinion, we create the conditions leading to our loss in competition – when the turnover of cargo increases we stop it. There appear „different miracles in the customs, though everything is done as if following the laws. Once, the customs office lost cargo documents for half a day. We had to ask for help, but neither police nor media were interested in the incident. It is disappointing that Estonia signed agreement with Kazakhstan concerning transit but Lithuania – did not yet.

Cooperation – mighty force

International association East-West Transport Corridor (EWTC), uniting 16 states and 2000 companies is completing the adjustment of cargo movement scheme and has already got the permissions from the countries for the transportation of transit cargo to China. In October it is anticipated to launch a shuttle train Klaipeda-Minsk-Moscow-Karaganda-Urumchi. But it is acknowledged that smooth cargo movement can be expected only then when Russia and Kazakhstan join this association.

Complicated air communication can be attributed to mutual cooperation difficulties of Lithuania and Kazakhstan. It takes 20 hours to fly from Kazakhstan to Vilnius as it is necessary to change planes either in Kiev or in Riga.  

The question of direct flights between Lithuania and Kazakhstan was discussed in different levels of both countries but the matter remains in the same place. Though it seems that cooperation conditions of the countries in this field are ideal. Even the sensitive problem for Kazakhstan of „black list“of air companies could be solved by mutual efforts:  the consultations of Lithuanian aviation experts, training of Kazakhstan aviators in Lithuanian training centre, or foundation of common aviation company.

Time to rise up
Summarising the results of the conference and giving interview to Lithuanian radio, deputy director of European Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Askar Kuttykadam stressed that the participants of the conference discussed openly transit transport matters between Lithuania and Kazakhstan. It allowed to understand the policy of Lithuania in this field better.

„We understood that the solution of transit matters would help to solve other cooperation matters between the countries. It will make impact on cultural and economical cooperation between our friendly determined countries”, - said Kuttykadam.

The officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was happy with the opportunity to see Klaipeda port from the water side and see its development perspectives.

„The statistics was submitted at the conference showing the decrease of Kazakhstan cargo in Klaipeda port. We think that the bottom here is already reached and it is time to rise up. I expect that 200 thousand tonnes is the lowest index in the history of our transport relationships. After economic crisis there appeared real possibilities to make transit flows more active. I see other cooperation possibilities as well. The countries may help each other as advocates – in defending common interests in international structures: Lithuania, representing the interests of Kazakhstan in EU, Kazakhstan – the interests of Lithuania in CIS and the Customs Union. The lessons of the global crisis made us to come to certain conclusions. Both countries are ready to look for new solutions in transit and transport activities and we can reach great achievements”, - the representative of Kazakhstan is sure.  

Askar Kuttykadam stressed that transport and logistics conferences were organised in Kazakhstan and Lithuania every second year for each country and it is becoming a tradition as the next year the professionals of this field are meeting in Kazakhstan.

Values of Lithuania – science, traditions, innovations
When the business, science and art synergy project was announced there were some doubts.

Not about the science.  

The harmony of business and science seemed clear and checked. In 2009 in Klaipeda there was organised the Baltic maritime innovations forum, in 2010 in Almaty – a conference Role of logistics on the way Asia-Europe and the awards of the magazine for the achievements in this field and it clearly showed what astonishing results could be expected in business and science cooperation.

But how could art become involved into this relationship?

„The art can be seen here as a compound part of synergy in the general sense of relationships between Lithuania, the Baltic region and Kazakhstan”,- said the rector of Klaipeda University  Vladas Zulkus.

„Thanks to different attitudes to the same problem it is possible to find an optimal solution of it”, -  KLASCO Director General Audrius Pauza is sure.

Opening the art exhibition of Lithuania and Kazakstan the Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Lithuania Galymzan Koisybajev said: „I am sure that in order to reach a constructive business dialogue it is necessary to get acquainted with the culture and mentality of this region where you intend to work.“

Films and photographs of Kazakhstan that were presented during the event have slightly opened the veil to the world that is not so well known to the majority of people.

Lithuanian artists demonstrated traditional and innovative solutions.  

The project of young artists „National anthem“ (Project manager Julius Zekas) won the attention of the participants of the conference.

The creators of the Project, that especially interested the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, say that the actualization of national values is the main pledge of identity and the language of synthesis – is the voice of present day. Art, science and technologies synergy presents one of the fundamental symbols of the nation – its anthem. Installation National anthem consists of more than 100 years old anthem written by Vincas Kudirka which is expressed on the special fabric sash of audio spectra-gram analysis which with laser illuminations and dynamic installation „cuts“the view at present moment. In n other words, the spectator may hear and watch qualitative changes of sound here and now. According to the Minister of Culture of Lithuania Dr. Arunas Gelunas „in this piece of art the fields of actualisation are – spiritual values, expressed in the State anthem and laser technologies that make the country known in the world as in those fields Lithuania is strong.“



The magazine SEA has been published since 1935
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been published since 1999
The first magazine in Eurasia in the four languages: English, Chinese, Russian and Lithuanian


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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

ISSN 1392-7825

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