NEW DELHI : Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Shantanu Thakur and the Vice Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Ejidijus Meilunas met in New Delhi on Thursday. The meeting focused upon strengthening the maritime bilateral relations between India and Lithuania. Both the Ministers expressed their appreciation for the strong and friendly relations between India and Lithuania.
During the meeting, Shri Shantanu Thakur expressed his happiness upon opening of India’s Resident Mission in Vilnius, Lithuania. He said, ‘This is another example of our commitment to strengthen bilateral relations. It is a matter of great satisfaction that bilateral trade between our two countries has shown steady growth in recent years’. As of 2022-23, the bilateral trade stood at US$ 472 million.
Both the ministers discussed the unique advantage of the Klaipėda port, being ice-free throughout the year. They highlighted the opportunity for mutual collaboration in this field, considering India’s expertise in port infrastructure development and Lithuania’s strategic location as a gateway to important industrial regions in Eastern Europe.
The Klaipeda port can accommodate vessels 400m in length, up to 59m. in width and with a maximum draught of 13.8m. The Port of Klaipeda is the leading Baltic port for container transshipment. It has the shortest land distances to the most important industrial regions of the East. The main shipping lines to various European ports pass through Klaipeda. The port is served by two railway stations and a highway which together link Klaipėda to Kaunas, Vilnius and cities in the nearby countries, such as Minsk, Kyiv and Moscow.
India strives to strengthen its maritime capabilities, enhance trade efficiency, and emerge as a key player in the global maritime industry. India presents numerous investment opportunities for Lithuania across various subsectors. The scope includes Port Modernization (PPP), Port Connectivity, Coastal Shipping, Maritime Technology, different Sagarmala Projects and Decarbonization initiatives.