‘In the energy sector, there is more competition than cooperation. For example, there is a rather sharp disagreement over the location of a gas import terminal. Each country is trying to pull the cart in its own direction, Rimantas Rudzkis, the chief analyst at DnB Nord Bankas said. He noted that the Latvians have stronger arguments for a liquefied gas terminal, but this project is very important to Lithuania also, since it aims to achieve energy independence from Russia. However, he noted that any energy projects are very expensive and that cooperation in implementing them is necessary. Why not to consider a following option, ‘Lithuania gets connected with the Polish gas network, but Latvians build an import terminal’, Rudzkis said.
He also noted that Lithuania’s new nuclear power plant project is becoming less attractive to the neighbours. It needs to be noted that a few weeks ago Rudzkis himself expressed his doubts if Lithuanian needs the new nuclear plant at all.
Klaipeda port also competes with Latvian ports and there is competition for air traffic. “The port of Klaipeda competes with Latvian ports. In this case, competition is perhaps inevitable. We are in a similar geographical location, and the winner is who offers cheaper and higher quality services,” Minster of Transport Eligijus Masiulis told to Verslo Zinios. Nevertheless, he noted that there is a lot of scope for cooperation in ‘Rail Baltica‘ or ‘Via Baltica’ projects.
The two neighbours are also competing with each other for investments in high technologies or services centers, and in traditional industries, Mantas Nocius, the director of Invest Lithuania.
Sigitas Besagirskas, the director of the Economics and Finance Department at the Lithuanian Industrialists’ Confederation, noted that Lithuania and Latvia have similarities in being ‘at the tail of the European Union’, hence should join forces more often to carry out joint projects.