Lithuania and Latvia discuss joint postal operations

Lithuania and Latvia have begun talks regarding the potential merger of their national postal services, or the setting up of a joint venture. The Baltic republics held ministerial talks last week that included discussions on the potential to set up a joint Lithuanian-Latvian postal company to provide courier services.

Lithuania’s transport minister Eligijus Masiulis and Latvia’s minister Aivis Ronis also discussed the possibility of merging national airlines, which have been experiencing hefty losses in recent years and face a bleak future.

The ministers suggested a unified Baltic postal service could even see Estonia’s operator, Eesti Post, joining.

Masiulis said: “Overall through cooperation the two companies, perhaps joined by Estonian Post, would strengthen out business position in competition with other countries’ parcel companies, and would improve the quality of services.”

“The joint venture would make it easier to move into the international market,” the Lithuanian minister added.

Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport confirmed that Lithuania Post has already begun talks with Latvian Post concerning the possibilities.

Both Lithuania and Latvia face having their domestic postal markets opened up to full competition from January 2013, in compliance with EU postal laws.

Lithuania Post made its first profit since 2007 last year after considerable cost-cutting efforts, and paid its first ever dividend to the Lithuanian government this summer.

Latvian Post made a LVL 24.4m loss in the year up to December 2011, and earlier this year brought in a new management board to try to turn the situation around.

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