On Wednesday, March 12, an eight-person delegation of transportation and economic development officials from Lithuania visited the Port of New Orleans to sign a memorandum of understanding to exchange market and operational information. The agreement hopes to grow trade and investment between the Port and Lithuania’s Klaipeda Seaport.
The group participated in a roundtable discussion regarding trade and transportation issues and toured Port cargo facilities. The roundtable discussion focused on how Louisiana can support the largest commodity exported to Lithuania annually, which is frozen poultry. In 2013, the Port shipped 36,701 short tons of frozen poultry to Klaipeda Seaport, which accounts for about 67 percent of the total cargo exported from Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River to Lithuania annually. In all, waterborne trade – both inbound and outbound - between Louisiana and Lithuania totaled 85,911 short tons in 2013.
“On behalf of the Port of New Orleans, we welcome our esteemed guests and partners in international trade,” said Daniel Packer, Chairman of the Port’s Board of Commissioners. “We look forward to working closely with Klaipeda Seaport to grow opportunities and nurture long-standing relationships that will be mutually beneficial going forward.”
Participants in the meeting included Packer, Rusty Barkerding, Board of Commissioners, Port of New Orleans; Joseph Toomy, Board of Commissioners, Port of New Orleans; Hon. Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, President, New Orleans City Council; Arijandas Sliupas, Vice-Minister of Transportation; H.E. Zygimantas Pavilionis, Ambassador of Lithuania; Simonas Šatūnas, Sr. Advisor, Economic Security Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ina Irens, Head of International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Transportation; Arvydas Vaitkus, Director General Klaipėda Port Authority; Artūras Drungilas, Deputy Director General Klaipėda Port Authority; Andrejus Ponomoriovas, Head of Division, Lithuanian Railway; and Vaidotas Šileika, Director General of Klaipėda Container Terminal.