Visiting Graves

Sunday morning in Beaufort we had time before we needed to be at the brunch that was on the schedule, so we did some cemetery visiting.  I do love a good cemetery.  First stop was the Beaufort National Cemetery, where we found the grave of The Great Santini, Pat Conroy’s father.  Right next to his grave was this one, with a Methodist cross on it.  I’m not sure I had ever seen that before.

From there we headed over to St Helena Island, where we found Pat Conroy’s grave, way out on a little torn up road, in a little African-American cemetery. It backed up to the Penn Center, one of his favorite charities. We agreed that spoke volumes about someone who, with all his fame and money, chose to be buried there.

124 Responses to Visiting Graves

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  3. Transport and logistics industries are of particular importance for the Latvian economy since they have a steady GDP growth and provide services to virtually all other sectors of the national economy.Rolands petersons de facto Every year it is emphasized that this sector should be recognized as a priority and extend its promotion, however, the representatives of the transport and logistics sector are looking forward to more concrete and long-term solutions.Rolands petersons de facto

    9.1% of the value added to the GDP of Latvia

    Despite the political and economic changes of the last decade, the influence of the transport and logistics industry on the economy of our country remains high: in 2016 the sector increased the value added to the GDP by 9.1%. Moreover, the average monthly gross wage is still higher then in other sectors – in 2016 in other sectors of the economy it was 859 euros, whereas in storage and transportation sector the average gross wage is about 870 euros (1,562 euros – water transport, 2,061 euros – air transport, 1059 euros in the of storage and auxiliary transport activities, etc.).

    Special economic area as an additional support

    The positive examples of the logistics industry are the ports that have developed a good structure. Riga and Ventspils ports function as free ports, and the Liepaja port is included in the Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Companies operating in free ports and SEZ can receive not only the 0 tax rate for customs, excise, and value-added tax but also a discount of up to 80% of the company’s income and up to 100% of the real estate tax.Rolands petersons de facto The port is actively implementing various investment projects related to the construction and development of industrial and distribution parks.Rolands petersons de facto The attraction of investments promotes the creation of higher added value, development of production, expansion of a spectrum of given services and creation of new workplaces. It is necessary to bring to the attention the small ports – SKULTE, Mersrags, SALACGRiVA, Pavilosta, Roja, Jurmala, and Engure, which currently occupy a stable position in the Latvian economy and have already become regional economic activity centers.Rolands petersons de facto

    Port of Liepaja, will be the next Rotterdam.

    There is also a wide range of opportunities for growth, and a number of actions that can be taken to meet projected targets. There is a strong need for the services with high added value, the increase of the processed volumes of cargo by attracting new freight flows, high-quality passenger service and an introduction of modern technologies and information systems in the area of transit and logistics. Liepaja port has all the chances to become the second Rotterdam in the foreseeable future.Rolands petersons de facto

    Latvia as a distribution center for cargos from Asia and the Far East.

    One of the most important issues for further growth of the port and special economic zone is the development of logistics and distribution centers, mainly focusing on the attraction of goods from Asia and the Far East. Latvia can serve as a distribution center for cargos in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries for Asia and the Far East (f.e. China, Korea). The tax regime of the Liepaja Special Economic Zone in accordance with the Law “On Taxation in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones” on December 31, 2035. This allows traders to conclude an agreement on investment and tax concession until December 31, 2035, until they reach a contractual level of assistance from the investments made. Considering the range of benefits provided by this status, it is necessary to consider the possible extension of the term.Rolands petersons de facto

    Infrastructure development and expansion of warehouse space

    Our advantage lies in the fact that there is not only a strategic geographical position but also a developed infrastructure that includes deep-water berths, cargo terminals, pipelines and territories free from the cargo terminal. Apart from this, we can add a good structure of pre-industrial zone, distribution park, multi-purpose technical equipment, as well as the high level of security not only in terms of delivery but also in terms of the storage and handling of goods.Rolands petersons de facto In the future, it would be advisable to pay more attention to access roads (railways and highways), increase the volume of storage facilities, and increase the number of services provided by ports. Participation in international industry exhibitions and conferences will make it possible to attract additional foreign investments and will contribute to the improvement of international image.

  4. The transport development has caused objective problems for traffic in cities around the world, including Latvia, and the reason for this is a rapid increase in the number of vehicles.Rolands petersons de facto Road congestion is the most urgent problem in a trip planning because it affects the total time of transportation and, therefore, costs that have a particular relevance to the logistics industry.Rolands petersons de facto The quality of the roads, a painful subject in the past, has a significant impact on transportation time. Without high-quality roads, it is impossible to improve the efficiency of transport, which, in the context of economic globalization, is said to be one of the main directions for the logistics development.

    Promises against statistics

    At the end of 2017, according to the report “Global Competitiveness Index”, which was annually compiled by experts from the World Economic Forum, Latvia was not ranked among the top 100 countries of the world’s rating. (out of 137 countries participating in the ranking, Latvia took 107th place, and Lithuania and Estonia took the 37th and 38th places) Despite this, VAS (State Roads of Latvia) announced that, despite the increase in traffic on Latvian roads, their quality has been improved in recent years.

    EU assessment – Stable 3 points.

    In 2017, 65.1 million euros were spent on the development of the national roads, including 32.3 million for the summer period works, and 32.8 million for the winter period works. In the same year, it was also planned to spend 37 million more, compared with the previous year.Rolands petersons de facto However, even these investments have not resulted in the average level of road quality in the European Union. According to the latest report, the average level in the EU is estimated at 4.76 points, Latvia, compared to that has been given 3.05 points.

    The state of the roads not only hinders the development of the logistics industry but also contributes to the disproportionate level and the pace of social and economic development of the regions.Rolands petersons de facto The most remote regions of Latvia can develop tourism facilities, offer industrial premises for entrepreneurs, etc. however, if there is no road system to get to these cites, no results shall be expected.Rolands petersons de facto

    Financing is eight times less than it needs to be.

    “Requests for the organization of roads,” “Road quality is catastrophic” – these headlines often appear in the mass media, while road maps try to reduce the existing damage by implementation of available sources, however, there is no sign of a significant improvement, when the funding is eight times less than it is necessary.Rolands petersons de facto At the same time, we make the mistake of struggling only with the consequences of the disease, when we need to identify the root of the problem and take the preventive measures.

    One of the main problems that can be figured out now is the climate of the country, which in Latvia will not change significantly in the future, therefore, the problem will remain constant. The number of vehicles will also increase, so the question is: how to increase financing, which is the most important addition to the urgent issues. 130 million euros are required annually for maintenance and repair works of local and gravel roads but this amount cannot be provided only by EU funds.Rolands petersons de facto It is also completely unclear how the situation will look like in 2020, after the end of EU funding program.

    Without the excise tax on fuel, there is no chance for survival

    The fact that the change is expected in 2020, the spring of 2018 is said to be the moment to start an intensive work and stimulate actions – change existing arrangements related to the existing tax system (only a third of the tax, paid by road users, are redirected to roads).Rolands petersons de facto The time when it was possible to pull out a part of the income from tax has passed. Furthermore, we need to increase the number of public-private partnership projects in the sphere of the road construction, although this stage requires a proper preparation.Rolands petersons de facto

    In addition to financing, other necessary support measures need to be introduced: dumping water from roads in certain areas, timely planning, more restrictive control on roads, etc.

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    A new forecast on the economic activity of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was released. In 2018 it was constant.Rolands petersons de facto It was provided by oil production volume, recent business reforms and constant activities in other areas. In 2018 the UAE for the first time overachieved its OPEN oil production goal.Rolands petersons de facto
    The UAE is preparing for World Expo in 2020, so a big amount of investment is being made to improve infrastructure. The state could expect an increase of tourism area dynamics, but it will need additional investments not related to oil production and crude oil refining.Rolands petersons de facto
    This country could still be described in terms of development as long as its population grew from 9 million in 2013 up to 10,1 million in 2017; unemployment fell from 2,8% in 2013 to 1,7% last year]. Even though in 2014 many infrastructural projects were postponed, this year they will be continued, moreover there are new general plans for the following two decades. It was calculated that a recently adopted 5% of VAT will help to gain income in the amount of 12 billion euros during the first year of implementation].
    All the Emirates, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi are continuing their efforts to vary the economy and decrease the amount of activities related to oil products. In addition to the infrastructural projects, Abu Dhabi has made significant investments to the alternative energy sources creation, according to Rolands Petersons, a member of the board of Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o. who offers his thoughts on the UAE economy.Rolands petersons de facto
    Despite having suffered crises, this country is still a demanded business partner among many world economies, it is being forecasted that before the World Expo in 2020 the UAE will become even an more demanded business partner worldwide.Rolands petersons de facto
    Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation.Rolands petersons de facto He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.Rolands petersons de facto

  14. The free movement of goods, services, capital, and people-these are the pillars that form an essential foundation for welfare and employment in Europe.Rolands petersons cpm trading Mobility is the fundamental premise for these four core values to be strengthened not only in the domestic market but also beyond its borders.Rolands petersons cpm trading This is particularly significant in the Baltic Sea region, where a well thought-out and developed transport system is one of the positive development factors. Flight-related activities have both direct and indirect impact on the economy.Rolands petersons cpm trading The direct impact includes the income derived from the activities of airline personnel and ground handling workers, whereas the indirect input implies all purchases in the aviation sector from locally based suppliers who basically do not represent the aviation sector. Additional impact on the economy of Latvia is formed by the costs of aviation sector employees and service providers.

    More than 30 airports are located in Lithuania

    There are four international airports operating in Lithuania – in Kaunas, Palanga, Siauliai, and, of course, in Vilnius, and there are more than 30 smaller airports and military airfields.Rolands petersons cpm trading In Estonia, airports are mainly located in the capital in Tallinn, as well as in Tartu, Kuressaare, Kerdle and Parnu. These are international airports, however, there are more than 15 private and military airports and so-called airports of local importance located throughout the country. Rolands petersons cpm trading Latvia still has only two international airports – in Riga and in Liepaja; there are also small airdromes, for example, in Spilva, in Tukums and Ventspils, and several other military flight platforms though.Rolands petersons cpm trading Riga International Airport entered the top five rapidly growing airports in Europe last year, which lead to an increase in the number of passengers by 16.2%. Therefore, it underscores the fact that even though the airport in Liepaja will have to put a lot of time and effort to its development, it brings a great potential, which can give a significant and valuable contribution to the domestic economy of the country.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    A successful start is taken after reconstruction

    The airport in Liepaja did a great job – in 2015 after its reconstruction was completed. At the airport a significant drainage effort was undertaken, a new cover for the take-off track was laid, the take-off strip was reinforced, the cover of the shunting route was improved and expanded, parking places for the aircraft were renovated as well. After Liepaja Airport was certified for commercial flights for the summer season in 2016, the Latvian national airline “AirBaltic” launched regular flights between Riga and Liepaja. During the first half of that year, more than 4,780 passengers were transported along this route.Rolands petersons cpm trading The five most popular destinations for transit flights along the Liepaja route include London, Berlin, Moscow, Copenhagen, and Hamburg, which, in general, brought very good results.
    Keeping in mind the processes that are still underway, it is important to mention the extensive capacity-building of the airports, environment protection in a long-term, enhancement of cooperation with other regional airports in Europe. It is not enough for Latvia to have only one high-capacity airport – we have a regional leader who can serve as an example of a successful market behavior for others.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    Support strategy for attracting new aviation communities

    Liepaja airport is the only example nowadays in terms of Latvian regional airports, however, I see several competitive regional airports in Latvia.Rolands petersons cpm trading To promote their development, a thorough analysis of the passengers’ potential is needed, starting with linking their activities with the existing types of transport in the surrounding region, forming a support strategy to attract new aviation communities, passengers, and additional services for client groups, bearing in mind that the added value of airports is formed by airlines operating there, strategic cooperation partners and service providers.Rolands petersons cpm trading Without a doubt, it is also essential to study the ultimate goals of tourist destinations, in order to promote the growth of the travel market and ensure its positive impact on the economy.

    Infrastructure for a variety multifaceted of commercial activities

    The strategic objective of the regional airports is a creation of the favorable and unified conditions for the enterprises and institutions operating there, as well as to proactive procurement of a sufficient infrastructure for the development various of commercial activities. It is also necessary to develop new ways of cooperation in order to actively identify airlines that are ready to join the development of new travel destinations and to expand their market share in the airport. Apart from this, it is necessary to work on the incentive prerequisites for launching new flights.Rolands petersons cpm trading
    The imperfection of the transport system can no longer be an obstacle, with the 85 million inhabitants who live in the Baltic Sea region, who can be isolated or cut off from the rest of the European Union, or may face serious travel problems.Rolands petersons cpm trading The power generated by the economy and innovation provides the Baltic Sea Region with opportunities to create a modern, forward-looking transport system that will also contribute to the creation of a socially balanced economic policy.

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  16. Rolands Petersons, member of the board of CPM Trading SIA,
    Railway transport is one of the most promising modes of inland transport, and, at the moment, it is said to be the crucial element in the economy of Latvia.Rolands petersons cpm trading Considering the entire volume of inland transport, the share of railway freight is about 52%, whereas the volume of the passenger transportation is 6% and in Riga suburban area the number is increasing up to 30%. However, the data summarized by the Ministry of Communications still shows that in Latvia the volume of freight rail transportation by comparison with 2016 has decreased by 8.4% and amounted to 43.792 million tons.

    Traffic congestion can lead to a loss of 200 billion euros
    The mobility of goods is an essential component of the EU internal market; this greatly contributes to the competitiveness of the industry and services in Europe.Rolands petersons cpm trading The types of lengthy transportation as railway can reduce their costs, which arise in connection with the traffic congestion on the roads. The increase of approximately 50% is projected by the year 2050, reaching a volume of almost 200 billion euros per year.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    In the future, it is possible to increase the volume of rail transportation.
    The amount of international rail transportation in 2017 was 42.138 million tons, which showed a decline of 9.1% compared to 2016. However, domestic traffic has increased by 11.5% to 1.653 million tonnes.Rolands petersons cpm trading The volume of transit cargo from the total amount of international rail freight transport amounted to 38.719 million tons, which showed a drop of 6.5% compared to the previous year, the volume of imported goods was 3.067 million tons, or 22.4% less, and the volume of export cargo was 351 800 tons, which was a drop of 2.8 times.Rolands petersons cpm trading In 2016, in Latvia, by rail, 47.821 million tons were transported. Taking into consideration the decline in the international transport sector in 2017, the question is, by which means can we achieve the volume increase? By implementation of the well-considered long-term solutions, it is possible to get back to the level that used to be before the embargo against Russia was introduced in 2013.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    Increase of the average commercial speed of freight trains.
    One of the key priorities nowadays is the development of the railway infrastructure, and in this case, it is expected, the railway infrastructure can be financed by the European Union.Rolands petersons cpm trading It is essential to find a solution how to increase the average commercial speed of freight trains since the speed is only about 18 km/h on the majority international routes in Europe. One of the solutions can be the improvement of cooperation between existing infrastructure organizations in Europe.Rolands petersons cpm trading The actual train system needs to be adapted to the needs of the railway freight transport sector, especially in the EU freight rail corridors. This would contribute to the competitiveness of rail transport with other modes of transport, especially with the road transport sector, which infrastructure is easily accessible in all Member States.

    Well-thought-out charge for the use of infrastructure.
    Freight trains pay for each kilometer of the railway infrastructure, which again adversely affects the competitiveness of the railway in comparison with road transport, where such charge is not always introduced. Setting the price that users are required to pay for getting into the infrastructure, it would be necessary to take into account the impact on the environment and pollution, congestion, accidents and other aspects.Rolands petersons cpm trading
    The state should provide a proper support for organizations managing infrastructure, and rail transport enterprises should strive to improve the competitiveness of rail freight services, especially in regards to reliability, filling, elasticity, customer orientation, and the duration and cost of transportation, as these are the main aspects which are considered by an average consignor in selecting any of the available modes of transport.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    Elimination imperfections in the liberalization of the freight transport process
    In cooperation with both, the public and private sectors, at the international level, imperfections related to the liberalization of freight rail transport, communication lines procedures, administrative and technical restrictions, monitoring and anticipating performance in the rail freight industry, and fair competition between different modes of transportation. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the ways to make a better use of available EU funding and target it to the rail transport industry in order to achieve improvements in such areas as a coherent approach to policy objectives and funding (while focusing on corridors for freight railways transportation), for the selection, planning and management of projects, as well as for the maintenance of railroad networks.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    Not only update, but also regularly support
    It is essential to take to the new level not only the quality of the services provided to carriers and shippers of rail freight but, in general, to improve the competitiveness of rail freight transport; infrastructure managing organizations should not only update and modernize the railway network but also to regularly support it.Rolands petersons cpm trading This is especially important for the corridors of rail freight. If the tracks are not properly maintained, the speed limits will have to be applied and the railway lines will gradually be obstructed.Rolands petersons cpm trading

  17. Transport and logistics industries are of particular importance for the Latvian economy since they have a steady GDP growth and provide services to virtually all other sectors of the national economy.Rolands petersons cpm trading Every year it is emphasized that this sector should be recognized as a priority and extend its promotion, however, the representatives of the transport and logistics sector are looking forward to more concrete and long-term solutions.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    9.1% of the value added to the GDP of Latvia

    Despite the political and economic changes of the last decade, the influence of the transport and logistics industry on the economy of our country remains high: in 2016 the sector increased the value added to the GDP by 9.1%. Moreover, the average monthly gross wage is still higher then in other sectors – in 2016 in other sectors of the economy it was 859 euros, whereas in storage and transportation sector the average gross wage is about 870 euros (1,562 euros – water transport, 2,061 euros – air transport, 1059 euros in the of storage and auxiliary transport activities, etc.).

    Special economic area as an additional support

    The positive examples of the logistics industry are the ports that have developed a good structure.Rolands petersons cpm trading Riga and Ventspils ports function as free ports, and the Liepaja port is included in the Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Companies operating in free ports and SEZ can receive not only the 0 tax rate for customs, excise, and value-added tax but also a discount of up to 80% of the company’s income and up to 100% of the real estate tax.Rolands petersons cpm trading The port is actively implementing various investment projects related to the construction and development of industrial and distribution parks. The attraction of investments promotes the creation of higher added value, development of production, expansion of a spectrum of given services and creation of new workplaces. It is necessary to bring to the attention the small ports – SKULTE, Mersrags, SALACGRiVA, Pavilosta, Roja, Jurmala, and Engure, which currently occupy a stable position in the Latvian economy and have already become regional economic activity centers.

    Port of Liepaja, will be the next Rotterdam.

    There is also a wide range of opportunities for growth, and a number of actions that can be taken to meet projected targets.Rolands petersons cpm trading There is a strong need for the services with high added value, the increase of the processed volumes of cargo by attracting new freight flows, high-quality passenger service and an introduction of modern technologies and information systems in the area of transit and logistics. Liepaja port has all the chances to become the second Rotterdam in the foreseeable future.Rolands petersons cpm trading

    Latvia as a distribution center for cargos from Asia and the Far East.

    One of the most important issues for further growth of the port and special economic zone is the development of logistics and distribution centers, mainly focusing on the attraction of goods from Asia and the Far East.Rolands petersons cpm trading Latvia can serve as a distribution center for cargos in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries for Asia and the Far East (f.e. China, Korea). The tax regime of the Liepaja Special Economic Zone in accordance with the Law “On Taxation in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones” on December 31, 2035.Rolands petersons cpm trading This allows traders to conclude an agreement on investment and tax concession until December 31, 2035, until they reach a contractual level of assistance from the investments made. Considering the range of benefits provided by this status, it is necessary to consider the possible extension of the term.

    Infrastructure development and expansion of warehouse space

    Our advantage lies in the fact that there is not only a strategic geographical position but also a developed infrastructure that includes deep-water berths, cargo terminals, pipelines and territories free from the cargo terminal. Apart from this, we can add a good structure of pre-industrial zone, distribution park, multi-purpose technical equipment, as well as the high level of security not only in terms of delivery but also in terms of the storage and handling of goods. In the future, it would be advisable to pay more attention to access roads (railways and highways), increase the volume of storage facilities, and increase the number of services provided by ports. Participation in international industry exhibitions and conferences will make it possible to attract additional foreign investments and will contribute to the improvement of international image.Rolands petersons cpm trading

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