National Currency:                       Litas               

Lithuania - is a modern, dynamic and open country in Northern Europe. It is a prime transport centre in Northern Europe. The Republic is ranked as having one of the highest qualities of life among more than 190 countries around the globe. In the International Living 2010 Quality of Life Index, Lithuania is ranked 22nd in the world by criteria which consist of nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety, risk, and climate.

The European Commission has evaluated Lithuania as EU’s prime transport centre because 2 strategic international transport routes and their branches run through Lithuania, the North-South highway and the rail route connecting Scandinavia with Central Europe as well as the East-West route linking the huge Eastern markets with the rest of Europe, as being among the ten most important in Europe.  

Lithuania is located on the crossroad of 3 huge markets which amount to approximately 750 million consumers on Lithuania’s doorstep. It’s a springboard to the EU markets, and Eastern markets (Russia and the CIS countries) are also just at Lithuania’s side. The northernmost and only ice-free seaport on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea is located in the western part of Lithuania. Klaipeda State Seaport is a regional transport hub connecting sea, land and railway routes from East to West. Compared to neighboring Eastern Baltic seaports, the port of Klaipeda has the widest shipping line network with other seaports.

A strategic vision of Lithuania is to become a Northern Europe Services Hub and Centre of Excellence and Innovation for Traditional Industries by 2015, and Northern Europe Innovations Centre by 2020. The Lithuanian Government aims for the following three objectives: high value-added services, technological hubs, and innovative and consolidated traditional industry.

Lithuania has the largest ICT industry in the Baltic States. 14 out of the 20 largest IT services companies in the Baltic States are based here.

The country has Europe’s fastest and world’s second fastest Internet upload and download speed, sixth in the world fibre optic communication penetration (23%), Europe’s highest density in fibre optic and public Internet access points, EU’s greatest GSM penetration (99.9%), and it is World’s No. 1 in the number of mobile telephone per 100 population. And finally, the country leads the world in mobile e-signature.

Biotech sector of Lithuania represents world-class research. The Lithuanian invention – the medicine against cancer TevaGrastim® is the newest worldly acknowledged medicine which is 25-35% cheaper than a similar treatment already on the market, but just as effective. The European Medicines Agency granted the marketing authorization for the Lithuanian invention to be marketed in Europe from 2009.

Laser technology is another high-tech pillar of the Lithuanian economy with the annual growth of 20% and nearly threefold increase in sales over the past 5 years. Lithuania is the world leader capturing 50% of the world market for high-energy pico-second lasers and more than 80% of global production of ultra fast parametric light generators. 86% of Lithuanian laser production is exported to nearly 100 countries ensuring world recognition of quality and diversification of markets.

“This year, in its publication dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations, the Embassy of Japan points out lasers as Lithuania's export product to Japan, which has at all times taken a significant share, but in 2010-2011, it accounted for a third of Lithuania's total exports”, – says P. Balkevičius on the subject of international achievements. 

There are over 10 high-tech companies operating in Lithuania engaged in the development and production of laser technology products. Every tenth laser used in the world has been produced in Lithuania.

Major laser physics and technology research centres operate within the largest universities of Lithuania.  Clients of Lithuanian companies include NATO, Penthagon, Nuclear Research Centre in Israel, Rezerford Laboratories in England, Berkley University in the USA, Livermore National Laboratory etc.

General information about laser technology in LIthuania:

  • Global leadership in applying fundamental research to manufacturing
  • Leading in global production of ultra-fast parametric light generators (80 %)
  • Every tenth laser professional holds a PhD
  • 86 % of production exported to nearly 100 countries
  • Lithuania lasers have 10% share in the global scientific laser market
  • Winner of the 2011 Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in Scientific laser category (EKSPLA)

Alternative energy development is already accelerating in the country. Lithuania continuously fosters renewable energy deployment (hydro, wind, biomass and solar) aiming at large 23% RES share by 2020. Clean energy technologies, at the same time, are becoming increasingly significant for Lithuania’s exports.

Following the best European practices, Lithuania uses feed-in tariffs to promote renewable energy.

On 31 January 2012, Lithuanian solar energy company Baltic Solar Energy and Baltic Solar Solutions signed an agreement in Visoriai IT park in Vilnius with the solar cell manufacturing equipment supplier from Germany Singulus Technologies AG. By 2014, the total investment in the centre of 27,000 sq. m. is expected to reach LTL 150 million.

Huge emerging clean-tech industry potential is also witnessed by the fast development of five R&D and business valleys, the pool of 18,000 local scientists and researchers, world-class achievements in electronics, and obvious interest coming from institutions and businesses with respect to the development of this industry.

International trade for such a small country as Lithuania is crucial. The ratio of foreign trade to GDP has always been at least 100%, and exceeded it for the last several years.

 In 2007, Lithuania became a member of the Schengen area, the European territory without internal borders, allows free movement of people without internal border checks. The European Union has recognized Lithuania as a prime transport centre linking the EU with the East:

  • Four international airports
  • Ice-free Klaipėda State Seaport
  • A transcontinental railway network (the Saule, Viking and Merkurijus  trains) links Lithuania with markets in the Middle, Far East and Russia
  • The best network of roads and highways in the region
  • Four multimodal logistic centers: Klaipeda (seaport–rail–highway), Kaunas (rail–airport–highway), Vilnius (rail–airport–highway), and Šiauliai (rail–airport–highway)

The EU is Lithuania's largest trading partner, which in 2011 accounted for 56% of Lithuania's total imports and 61% of total exports. The Commonwealth of Independent States runs closely behind as an economic union, with 34% in imports and 25% in exports), focusing mainly on mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of distillation, bituminous substances and mineral waxes.

Certain economic sectors in Lithuania are basically geared to export markets. Two-thirds of the transport and logistics sector production and/or services have been exported. The export of biotechnologies accounts for 84%, plastics industry – 56%, laser technology – 86%, metal processing, machinery and electrical equipment manufacturing – 59%, furniture manufacturing and wood processing – 55%, textile and clothing industry – 79%, and food – 44%.

Ready-for-business locations

Lithuania welcomes foreign investors and businesses to take advantage of the special ready-for-business locations:

Lithuania`s GDP increased by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2014, as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. The key driver of the economy remains gross capital formation and household consumption, while exports fell sharply. It shows that Lithuania`s economy has become more dependent on the domestic market compared with recent years.

Growth of household consumption increased. The annual rate of change in household consumption increased to 4.2% in the first quarter, as compared with the same period of 2013. Strong household spending growth was supported by growing wages and declining unemployment.

The construction sector boomed. In the first quarter of 2014, as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, the construction works carried out within country increased significantly by 33.1%. The highest increase, amounting to 57.0%, was in the civil engineering structures area, while buildings unit increased by 20.7%. 


Source:   www.lietuva.lt