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COVID-19 causes Freeport of Riga to invest cautiously

Freeport of Riga cautious about capital investment
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The Freeport of Riga has said the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions mean it will be cautious in its immediate capital investment programme.

In a statement, the Port said received approximately €36.3 million ($44.2 million) from outside investors for infrastructure development in 2021, taking its total amount received in the last five years to €195 million ($237 million).

The Port said the investment allowed it to increase its warehouse capacity by 123,630sqm and that other capital had gone into the development of container handling equipment.

Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 and geopolitical uncertainty, the Port said it is being cautious about investments and put forward a package of $149 million ($181.6 million) for 2021-2024.

Viesturs Zeps, Freeport of Riga Board Chairman, said, “The global pandemic, economic and geopolitical processes, including sanctions against our neighbors Russia and Belarus, are the factors that have significantly affected the operations of the Port of Riga and the cargo range.

“The companies working in the port are adapting to the current situation, reorienting their operations and, most importantly, investing in development, which proves that economic activity of the Port of Riga will not lose its dynamics and will continue to play a significant role in the Latvian economy.

“Despite various speculations about the importance and role of ports in the national economy, we see that port companies are a significant employer and make a significant contribution to the state budget in the form of taxes paid, which have even increased in recent years, despite a small drop in turnover.”

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