Klaipeda news in English
Who will benefit of deep-sea Klaipeda port: myths busted
The more deep-sea port of Klaipeda plan is getting shaped, the louder the society, the media are expressing their criticism.
Some are fantasizing and throwing mud and spread rumors simply of a lack inelegance, others slender and actively comment because they have some political interests. All this will become clear after the results off pending municipality election.
Today we asked Arvydas Vaitkus, the managing director of Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, to confirm or deny some of the rumors.
Rumor No. 1
The port of Klaipeda is built for Chinese, who are willing to by our ports infrastructure and lands.
I am ready to disappoint all the rumor spreaders and those who love to fantasize: the port infrastructure and the state lands are not going to be sold, neither to Chinese nor to anyone else for that matter. More over there will be no Chinese living quarters, so called Chinatowns, in Klaipeda. Though there might be some who would really appreciate it.
A bald statement that Chinese will buy everything up in Klaipeda is just a cheap tale. We live in a civilized state with laws being applied to everyone. The state law has very distinct regulations on how and to whom the state lands can be leased out.
With that being said I think that we had covered the first myth, we will not be devoured by Chinese. So we need to address the next question that rises naturally: would it be beneficial to Lithuanians and people living in Klaipeda to have Chinese as business partners?
A huge economical war is happening between few shipping companies today. There were four big alliances of which only 3 had left and all of them fight for a bigger share of a stock.
We alongside with minister of communications Rokas Masiulis had participated in OBOR (One Belt One Road) meeting which took place in Beijing.
During the event we have heard Klaipeda mentioned several times as a possible point in silk trading scheme.
Klaipeda port was named as the best port in the Baltic Sea. It is fascinating really to be recognized and so highly spoken about by such a mega state as China.
Today all the countries in the world are fighting for the Chinese transported cargos. All of the largest ports in Europe have Chinese freight terminals. We have a large country partner Belarus in the transportation and transit spheres which ensures 35 percent of all cargo in Klaipeda port. Chinese could potentially become our partners too and being the holders of cargos could guarantee large shipments from them, that would create new work places in the port and the city itself.
Rumor No. 2
Chinese would employ local workers as cheap work force and would send high rank specialists to take the management positions.
I will present several facts that will ease these concerns. I have participated at the conference of European Port Authority this May in Barcelona. I had sat next to the previous Piraeus (Greece) Port director. We asked him about the situation with workers in the port to which he replied that the workers are in their positions except for a few managers sent by Chinese to govern them. As the matter of fact the living conditions in the East coast of China now prevails not only ours but also more economically developed countries in Europe.
That’s the main reason why Chinese think that it is not necessary to transfer all the worker in ports.
It is well known that China has its terminals in all big ports of Europe such as: Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Bremerhaven (Germany) and still there is not heard of Chinese running these ports or the city’s.
Rumor No. 3
The expansion of the port will affect Curonian spit and its coasts which most likely will be concreted.
This one definitely had made me laugh and made my day. Truly there are no limits to an imagination of a man. Indeed this is worth the admiration. It would be interesting to listen to those ‘know all’s’ what else they have to say, because it is not in our intention to ruin the Curonian spit’s costs or to concrete them.
On the contrary we are planning to strengthen the interior of the port underwater cost line by building an invisible wall in fact there are the funds provided to this matter in the Port Authority investment plan.
The flowing water, be it a river or a lagoon, always causes certain changes in the cost line by destroying it.
Our reconstruction plans in fact include measures to strengthen the coast of the Curonian spit increasing its safety. Southern pier as a technical construction is a great example of port infrastructures capability to help to protect the Curonian spits unique beauty.
To be continued…
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