Business Forum to spotlight Rail Baltica and French-Latvian cooperation

Posted: 17 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Rail Baltica are hosting the upcoming French-Latvian Business Forum, taking place on 22 May in Riga, gathering policy-makers and leaders.

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The upcoming French-Latvian Business Forum, taking place on 22 May in Riga, is set to gather over 160 leaders and policymakers from the Transport, Defence, and Renewable Energy sectors. The event will provide a platform for discussions, strategic networking, and exploration of business opportunities, with a special emphasis on the Rail Baltica project.

The forum, organised by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) in partnership with the Embassy of France in Latvia and the French Foreign Trade Advisors of the Baltic States (CCEF), aims to foster cooperation and investment in the Baltic region. Attendees will have the opportunity to delve into the progress and prospects of the Rail Baltica project, gain insights into Latvia’s defense industry initiatives, and learn about the renewable energy implementation strategy.

France remains an important economic partner for Latvia. In recent years, Latvia’s trade with France has grown, particularly in mechanical engineering, electrical equipment, and woodworking. In 2023, exports of goods and services reached 674.8 million euros, a 9% increase from 2022. Meanwhile, France ranked 14th among Latvia’s trade partners, with a total trade turnover of EUR 1.22 billion.

“Latvia shares a strong partnership with France in the realm of transportation, with French companies participating in the Rail Baltica infrastructure project which aims to integrate the Baltic states into the European railway network. Additionally, the rapid development of renewable energy projects in Latvia and the region holds potential for fostering long-term cooperation between our nations,” highlights Iveta Strupkāja, Acting Director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA).

Rail Baltica’s progress and future prospects

The forum will include two dedicated panels focusing on various aspects of the Rail Baltica project. The first panel, featuring Emilien Dang, Management Board Member and Chief Technical Director at Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS, alongside representatives of management teams of Rail Baltica national implementing bodies – Anvar Salomets from Rail Baltic Estonia, Ēriks Diļevs representing Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas and Justas Vyžintas from Rail Baltica Management, LTG Infra –, will be inaugurated be the Minister of Transport of Latvia Kaspars Briškens and will provide an overview of the project and its timeline, outline objectives for 2030, and cover main line construction, transversal scopes, and upcoming tenders.

The second panel, featuring Thierry Boussillon, Management Board Member and Chief Programme Management Officer at RB Rail AS and representatives from French companies, will address the main challenges anticipated in 2024 and beyond. Topics will include station and infrastructure management, financing, and procurement outlook, and the Red vs. Yellow Fidic contract types.

Thierry Boussillon, Chief Programme Management Officer at RB Rail AS: “We are glad to see investors’ interest in the Baltic region, which continues to grow as a dynamic hub for innovation and development. The Rail Baltica project is a prime example of the significant business opportunities here, and we are proud to already be collaborating with several French companies to bring this ambitious infrastructure project to life. This forum provides an excellent platform to strengthen these partnerships and explore new avenues for investment and cooperation.”

Rail Baltica cooperation with French companies

There is a significant involvement of French companies in the Rail Baltica project, with contracts totaling over 3.77 billion EUR. Notable contributions include the detailed technical design for the railway line in the Central section (LV) by EGIS Rail SA, DB Engineering, and Olimps, engineering consultancy and construction supervision services for the Riga railway bridge, embankment, and central passenger station complex by Egis Rail SA, DB Engineering & Consulting, and Egis Batiments International, and NoBo services for trackside infrastructure TSI conformity assessment by Certifer SA and Network Rail Certification Body Limited. Other key contributions include AsBo services by Certifer SA, control-command and signalling engineering and works supervision by SYSTRA SA, ITALFERR S.P.A., and EGIS RAIL S.A., electromagnetic compatibility evaluation by SNCF, and on-demand advisory services for cost calculations and quantum assessments by Currie & Brown and Linum Consult. The most recent addition is a joint venture for the construction of the entire railway infrastructure mainline in Latvia, over approximately 230 km, involving Eiffage Génie Civil SAS from France, Rizzani de Eccher S.p.A., and Budimex S.A., under the consortium JV E.R.B. Rail.

Networking and B2B Matchmaking during French-Latvian Business Forum

Attendees will have the chance to engage in B2B matchmaking, providing a valuable opportunity to connect with potential business partners, suppliers, and investors. Read more and REGISTER for the event.