Latvia should not expect that cooperation with China will save it from falling transit and idle ports because it will not be there. China, perhaps, would be happy to invest in the development of ports in the Baltic states, but bypassing Russia this will not work.
In an interview with Baltnews, economist Vasily Koltashov explained why the Baltic states should not count on them becoming an attractive region for investment by China, which could save transit and ports, and also that if the Baltic governments were far-sighted, they would try to maintain partnerships with Russia.
“China could be very interested if they maintained transit. China, for example, became interested in the Belarusian economy, as it retained its attachment to the Russian market, and built a car factory there without a single Belarusan. They had such a project, which caused protests of the citizens of Belarus, who were simply outraged by this type of cooperation between the Old Man and the PRC, because Chinese workers arrived, who minimally spent in Belarus, assembled cars based on the Russian market. China could do the same in the Baltics, it would invest in the railways of the Baltic states, in their ports. If he could impose economic services on American customers in Moscow,” Koltashov said.
According to the economist, the economy cannot be considered as some kind of unit, connected only with numbers, the political factor plays a very significant role, therefore, if a policy hostile to Russia is pursued, then one should not count on the development of ties.
“The Baltic states, especially Lithuania, and both Latvia and Estonia, cannot count on their inclusion in the economic schemes of another country. They should ask for US transit, for example, from Colorado to Texas through their ports, why not. Or for Germany to transit from Germany to Poland or from Germany to France via Baltic ports. If you are in someone’s political orbit, please contact them. And they will probably help you. At a minimum, they will explain that transit cannot be so easily moved, ” the expert believes.
Koltashov noted that the ports in the Baltic had an influence on the fact that the transit route moved north to the Leningrad region. Now, to turn everything back and attract the flow of Chinese goods into them is an absurd idea in itself.
As for the prospects for the development of Baltic-Chinese cooperation, they are very vague. Even if China is poised for the Baltic states and will stamp products for the European market, Germany will clearly not be happy with this situation. Therefore, dreams of Chinese investment at this stage can be buried, however, as well as the transit industry.
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“They can flirt with China, China can flirt with them, but as long as you have nothing but flirting, and you cannot provide profitability with Chinese investments, nothing will work. China, of course, can build enterprises based on the eurozone countries to sell products there, but will Germany allow them to do this? Will not allow it. A counterweight also arises here. Thus, they remain in the position in which they wanted to be. Transit without transit, ” the economist concludes.