It was decided that a joint declaration will me made about eg. the urgent need of developing the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing point.
THE BUS TOUR STEP BY STEP:
• In Kaskinen participants got information about the Port of Kaskinen and about the studies that will be made eg. about cargo flows etc. (presentation of Kari Veromaa, WP4-work).
Maintaining and developing the railway line between Kaskinen and Seinäjoki is crucial for the port of Kaskinen and all the transports on the corridor.
• In Seinäjoki the group visited Hahkaway Ltd, a company that mainly transports and storages frozen products. The company has also high expectations about the new logistics area in Seinäjoki, which will after construction offer companies better possibilities to expand their operations.
• The group stayed overnight in Ähtäri, hotel Mesikämmen - and heard that the east-west connections are very important for tourism services along the corridor.
• The main road 18 between Ähtäri and Multia is one of the worst bottlenecks on the corridor. Now a preliminary engineering has been started and the goal is to make the road more wide and straight in the future. (presentation by Pekka Kokki, Regional Council of Central Finland).
• In Jyväskylä the group heard that logistics operations are often uncoordinated, each company do the operations very separately, but the Innoroadpark -concept wants to increase the cooperation between operators, developers and researchers (ppt-presentation by Toni Pienonen, Jykes Ltd.)
• When finally arriving in Parikkala, the group visited the Parikkala-Syväoro - border crossing point and got interesting information about the circumstances on the border.
At the moment there are only cargo transports from Russia to Finland (exporting timber by trucks) and the goal is to develop the cross border station into an international station which would also open it for passenger traffic.
• The group also visited the Imatra border crossing point and heard that the station has new construction plans in order to respond to the constantly growing amounts of border checks. Currently most of transports are timber by trucks, the railway isn´t open for international transports.
"Border crossings up by nearly one million": http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/07/border_crossings_up_by_nearly_one_million_2698839.html
THE MINISEMINAR IN PARIKKALA:
• Mrs. Aune Ritola, Economic Developer Manager in Parikkala, opened the seminar and told about the current situation. (ppt-presentation).
• Mr. Pasi Nurkka from TAK Ltd, research center, showed with interesting statistics what it means for Finnish regions to be in the armpit of Russia (ppt-presentation).
• The importance of Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing to regions of South Karelia and South Savo was presented by Regional Plannin Manager Marjo Wallenius and Manager Teppo Leinonen. They both emphasized that the development of the cross border demands a strong cooperation from both Finnish and Russian parties, but also ENPI -financing.
• Roman Kurzhunov, from Viexpo, told about the transito-traffic and Russian import/export.
He was very hopeful that the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing point will be on Russian Karelian priority-lists in the near future. (ppt-presentation TBA).
Conclusions of the seminar:
• the amount of border crossings is evidently growing and the problem needs to be handled very soon - current strategies are not responding to the problem.
• participants decided to show their support by preparing a joint declaration about the importance of the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing point. See the declaration.
Further information on the study tour:
Communication Manager Virpi Heikkinen.
Program and travel info (including participant-list).
Study tour Sweden-Norway:
See also travel report of similar trip through Sweden-Norway in June: