On the 12th of September 2018 around 20 entrepreneurs and stakeholders interested in the economic potential of Rail Baltica met in Kaunas, Lithuania at the Technical University Economy and Business Faculty to discuss how RB could benefit citizens and businesses across the Baltic States, Poland and Finland.
The highlight of the event was MEP Catherine Traumann’s presentation about Rail Baltica’s role in the changing transport landscape. As the European Coordinator for the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic core network corridor Ms. Trautmann has a lot of expertise on the subject and provided excellent insights on the recent development of the European transport policy and its potential economic benefit to the Baltic Sea region.
Traumann emphasized that Rail Baltica is the missing cross-border link from Tallinn to Warsaw and acts as a geostrategic opportunity to connect the Eastern part of the Baltic Sea Region to Western Europe and truly integrates Baltic States into the EU. Rail Baltica connects capital cities, economic centres, ports and other transport hubs.
According to Traumann the predicted shift of cargo from road to rail is at 30-40% and the CO2 emissions and air pollution reduction benefits shall exceed 6 billion EUR over the period up to 2055 in the Baltic States. Rail Baltica is the largest railway infrastructure project in the Baltic countries over the last 100 years and is estimated to create 13 000 direct jobs and 24 000 indirect jobs.
Kaspars Briškens, the business development manager of AS RB Rail gave a presentation on leveraging the business community engagement to promote Rail Baltica commercialisation. Briškens said that Rail Baltica will act as a powerful catalyst for sustainable economic development in the Baltic States and the predictable total benefit of Rail Baltica is at least 18.2 billion Euros.
The main aim of the event was to highlight the importance of the Rail Baltica project in the development of the Baltic region and share the common vision of the project implementation introducing the possible areas for business engagement.