The results of study tour in Finland: a lot of interesting information and a joint statement

The purpose of the study tour was to get more information about the Midnordic Green Transport Corridor in Finland. Participants heard eg. about development of combined transports and logistic centers, but learned also about cross border problems in the corridor.

It was decided that a joint declaration will me made about eg. the urgent need of  developing the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing point.

Nearly 20 participants joined the study tour which started from Vasa on Wednesday 28/9, the bus travelled via Port of Kaskinen and via Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä further to Parikkala, near Russian border. On Friday 30/9 there was a miniseminar in Parikkala about the cross border points between Finland and Russia.

THE BUS TOUR STEP BY STEP:

  •      In Vasa Mrs. Riitta Björkenstein told about the development of Vasa logistics, for example the new Vaasa Airport Logistics Center. (ppt-presentationPDF and Brochure VALC).external link, opens in new window

  •        In Kaskinen participants got information about the Port of KaskinenPDF and about the studies that will be made eg. about cargo flows etc. (presentation of Kari Veromaa, WP4-workPDF).
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 Ltdexternal link, opens in new window, 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 Mesikämmenexternal link, opens in new window - 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 FinlandPDF).

  •      In Jyväskylä the group heard that logistics operations are often uncoordinated, each company do the operations very separately, but the Innoroadparkexternal link, opens in new window -concept wants to increase the cooperation between operators, developers and researchers (ppt-presentation by Toni Pienonen, Jykes LtdPDF.)

  •      When finally arriving in Parikkala, the group visited the Parikkala-Syväoro - border crossing pointPDF 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.

Related news:
"Border crossings up by nearly one million": http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/07/border_crossings_up_by_nearly_one_million_2698839.htmlexternal link, opens in new window

THE MINISEMINAR IN PARIKKALA:

  •  Mrs. Aune Ritola, Economic Developer Manager in Parikkala, opened the seminar and told about the current situation. (ppt-presentationPDF).

  •  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-presentationPDF).

  • 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 Viexpoexternal link, opens in new window, 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 infoPDF (including participant-list).

Study tour Sweden-Norway:
See also travel report of similar trip through Sweden-Norway in June:
http://www.midnordictc.net/newsevents/newsarchive/studytourfromseatoseawassuccessful

Clikc for bigger image
The route of study tour in Finland in September 2011.
Uppdated: 2011-10-20
The study tour in photos:
Nearly 20 participants sat on the whole bus tour. In total the study tour involved ca. 40 persons.
Riitta Björkenstein, from VASEK, presented Logistics in Vasa region.
Port Manager Timo Onnela told about the excellent development possibilities in the port of Kaskinen.
In Seinäjoki the group visited Hahkaway Ltd. and the special circumstances of storing frozen products were evident.
In Ähtäri the group was joined by media and eg. member of Finnish parliament, Mr. Mikko Savola.
Improving main road 18 is one of the main activities in Central Finland, Mr. Pekka Kokki is leading the preliminary engineering work.
Logistics in Jyväskylä region and Innoroadpark-concept was presented by Mr. Toni Pienonen, Jykes Ltd.
Well-functioning transports are very important to tourism - Savonlinna Travel Ltd. presented the castle and Savonlinna city to the travellers.
Finally in Parikkala..! The group visited the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing point.
Ari Berg, chairman of Parikkala municipality council, and Ilkka Tiainen, chief of Parikkala Border Guard, told about the circumstances on the border.
The seminar in Parikkala concentrated on the border crossing point and the obvious need of the development.
As a conclusion the participants will make a joint statement for urgent development of Parikkala-Syväoro.
The group visited also the border crossing in Imatra.
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