Lithuania and South Korea plan to enhance their collaboration by boosting maritime transport and logistics connectivity and broadening their ties in the domain of transportation infrastructure advancement. These possibilities were a topic of discussion for Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis during his visit to South Korea this week, where he engaged in talks with the Ministers of South Korea.
During the meetings with Cho Seung-hwan, South Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, and Won Hee-ryong, South Korea’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, several issues were discussed, including the expansion of freight routes, investment in the Seaport of Klaipėda, strategic transport infrastructure initiatives, and innovation in connectivity and marine engineering.
“South Korea’s reputation as one of the most innovative economies globally makes it a fitting collaborator for us to diversify trade and strengthen collaboration in high value-added transport sectors. Our attention is particularly drawn towards considerable potential for establishing mutually beneficial business relationships in green and smart shipping, innovative logistics, and investing in the development of transport infrastructure,” said Minister Skuodis.
The Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, along with a business delegation under his leadership, showcased the possibilities and capabilities of the Klaipėda State Seaport during the visit. The major infrastructure initiatives for the 2023–2026 period include renovating the breakwaters, dredging the navigation channel to a depth of 17 meters, and promoting environmental sustainability and green initiatives in the port. By the end of 2026, the port infrastructure necessary for building a Baltic Sea offshore wind farm with a projected capacity of approximately 700 MW is also expected to be established. Making the Port of Klaipėda a pivotal location for the integration of offshore wind farms and their elements is the main aim.
The discussions further emphasised the substantial capability of South Korean engineering enterprises to aid in the advancement of the key transport infrastructure projects in Lithuania and the Baltic region. The plan is to encourage further communication by arranging trips for South Korean business delegates to Lithuania, as well as by enhancing the network of mutual relationships and contacts, to promote Lithuania’s infrastructure development priorities more broadly.
The talks also covered the partnership between the countries in promoting transportation innovation, sustainability, and digitalization in the International Maritime Organization, the International Transport Forum (ITF), and other global arenas. With Lithuania taking on the ITF presidency in May of this year, there are more prospects for the international community to help establish new transport corridors and supply chains with Ukraine.
As part of the efforts to strengthen the bond between the two nations, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Seaports of Klaipėda and Incheon during the visit to South Korea.
In addition, the development of the Sandbox initiative is underway in Lithuania, which offers a legal, regulatory, and financial framework for testing real-world transport innovations. The objective is to promote innovative solutions in fields such as autonomous transportation, unmanned aerial vehicles, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and 5G-based robotics or automation. These topics were also discussed in the meetings during this visit.
Lithuania considers South Korea to be of strategic importance in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2021, the trade between Lithuania and Korea rose by 39% as a result of Lithuania’s efforts to diversify its supply chains in the Asian and Oceanian markets, whereas the trade growth recorded last year was 26%.
The Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, Marius Skuodis, along with the CEO of the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, Algis Latakas, and a delegation of Lithuanian business representatives, are currently on a visit to South Korea from 17 to 21 April.