Olga Pavuk, Editor-in-Chief
An unusually hot summer is passing, and fall will soon replace
it. In fall you will return to your everyday business. So, you're sitting in
a railway car on your way home from holidays in some warmer destination. Or
you have caught an airplane for a business meeting. Or simply working your way
through the mail at the desk in your office.
You are holding a copy of The Baltic Course. And you wonder why this magazine had been out of sight for a while? The reason is quite trivial - a change of ownership. Now we are in the hands of the Preses Nams corporation controlled by Ventspils Nafta oil terminal and would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Ventspils Nafta on its coming 40th anniversary.
Preses Nams is a company working in three directions - printing, publishing and real-estate. The Preses Nams printing house is the largest in the Baltics, and its products are sold in the Baltic states as well as in Scandinavia. Under ambitious plans it seeks to become also the largest publisher in the Baltics.
Under the wing of Preses Nams our magazine found its second wind and its editorial board became truly international. But these changes will not in any way affect the course set by the magazine five years ago. As usual, we will print the magazine in two copies - in Russian and in English. We also promise to continue supplying you with objective and accurate information about the most vital developments taking place in the Baltic states and the Baltic Sea region.
Court proceedings over financial disputes is one of the most painful issues in transition economies and also a theme for this current copy, which also contains a story about financial crimes in the Baltics - a problem that seems to be of a philosophical rather than criminal nature.
The role of Russian capital in the development of oil transit is a matter of concern not only to transit businesses themselves. It also affects intergovernmental relations, but crude oil and oil products is only one, albeit the most important component in the operations of Baltic sea ports. Our ports are also competing for handling bulk cargo delivered to piers via both railway and trucks.
Railway carriage construction, having played an important role in the development of the Latvian economy for almost 150 years is also starting to get its second wind with several companies already fighting for the market today.
Belarus-Baltic relations are developing most successfully regardless of different outlooks on the structure of the state apparatus. An increasing number of Belarus companies are selling their products in the Baltics. The BC went to Minsk to talk with producers of construction materials.
The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian banking system depends to a large extent on Scandinavian and Finnish capital but it looks like the picture may change soon. Central Europe, having not paid much attention to us so far, is also slowly moving towards the Baltic market. This movement coincides with our own efforts in the direction of the European Union.
Baltic fashion designers, who in the past conquered the Soviet Union, are the first among post-Soviet nations to enter the European market, and this is pleasant news.
And that's not all!
It's on the house! In order to settle our debt to you, we are offering you free subscription for the first half of next year. For this we must make a list of permanent readers. All you have to do is send us your details (and a copy of the receipt) to the editorial office at the address specified on the inside cover. Other persons willing to become regular readers of our magazine are welcome to receive a subscription for next year. All subscribers will also receive the final copy printed in 2001.
As usual, we look forward to your comments. Please do not hesitate to write or call us.