Doing Business in Lithuania
Lithuania presents opportunities for businesses exporting abroad. Sectors include information technology, client support centres, and renewable energy as well as transportation, logistics and bio-plastics production.
Located between the Northern and Eastern Europe, Lithuania is the largest of the 3 Baltic States.
Lithuania has benefited from the EU assistance and development funds, amounting to 180 million EUR per annum, since joining the EU. This has helped modernise the economy. Lithuania is a member of the Schengen Area as well.
Lithuania is ranked 24th in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report. Lithuania joined the Eurozone in 2015.
Benefits for businesses exporting to Lithuania include:
- English as business language
- political and economic stability
Strengths of the Lithuanian market include:
- strategic location
- funding and support for businesses
- transport infrastructure
- multilingual, educated population
- information Communications Technology infrastructure
There is a number of popular industries in Lithuania that have the advantage of being more developed, sponsored and invested in. Because of that, they are the most likely choice for businessmen, who wish to incorporate a business in Lithuania.
Information and communication
Information and communication technologies industry is the largest in the Baltics. There are 25,000 employees working in this sector. Modern technologies are available, such as EDGE technology, 3G mobile communications infrastructure with data speeds of 3.6 Mbps and mobile WiMAX 4G Internet, the fastest Internet upload in Europe and the greatest GSM penetration in the EU. These factors make Lithuania attractive for offshore services. Engineering industry has been constantly growing by approximately 18% every year. This industry is competitive in terms of cost and quality and it is well-integrated into the global supply chains. Products by the Lithuanian engineers are adapted by such companies and organisations as NASA, Boeing, U.S. Army, BMW, Volkswagen, Hitachi, Siemens and Mitsubishi.
Biotechnologies industry has been recognised as one of the most developed in the Central and Eastern Europe. Biotechnology research takes place in Lithuania, and the developed techniques and products are applied in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, agriculture, environment, etc. Biotechnology products are recognised as 70% of them are exported to over 70 countries. Different incentives are offered to the development of biotechnology sector in Lithuania.
Another industry that is highyl developed in Lithuania is laser technologies. Every tenth laser sold worldwide is made in Lithuania. World class quality of laser production has been recognised by nearly 100 countries. Companies and organisations as NATO, Pentagon, Nuclear Research Centre in Israel, Rezerford Laboratories in England, Berkley University, Livermore National Laboratory are the clients of the Lithuanian companies producing lasers.
Renewable energy development is becoming important for the Lithuanian export. Potential of clean technology industry is supported by business valleys, the pool of 18,000 local scientists and researchers, world class achievements in electronics, and interest of businesses in the development of this industry.
Free economic zones
A free economic zone is a territory designated for the economic, commercial and financial activities where companies enjoy great economic and legal conditions for their operation. Each FEZ is established by the government and defined in a corresponding law. In 1996, two FEZs were established in Lithuania: in Kaunas and in Klaipėda. They already have been in use for 49 years. As of 1 January 2012, five more FEZs were established in Akmenė, Kėdainiai, Marijampolė, Panevėžys and Šiauliai.
Kaunas FEZ offers a strategic geographic location and excellent development conditions. Situated next to Kaunas International Airport and in the proximity of the ice-free Klaipėda Seaport, Kaunas FEZ is accessible by road and railway.
With superb road, rail and sea access, Klaipėda FEZ forms part of the hub of a transport network. It was identified in the European Union Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment as a site for the establishment of a logistics centre, forming a part of the European network of centres.
Out of all the Lithuanian FEZs, Akmenė FEZ is the third smallest (as of 2016), which is compensated by one of the lowest tax rates among them all. It is located near the border with Latvia, in the North of the country. Its strategic location allows active foreign trade more than other FEZs, as it is close to another major port in the Baltic region - Riga.
Kėdainiai FEZ also plays an important role in attracting foreign investment in Lithuania. According to the amount of foreign direct investment per capita, Kėdainiai district had the highest rate within the Kaunas County. The rate was 70% higher than the Kaunas County rate. Investors in economic activities of Kėdainiai district come from Russia, Denmark and Finland.
The FEZ in Marijampolė is located at a crossroad of wide and narrow railway tracks conveniently accessible by road. It provides seamless logistic opportunities of railway and motor transport across the Baltic Sea, Europe and Asia.
Panevėžys FEZ offers access to employees from a city where the industries of metalwork, electronics, textile, food and beverages have been developed. There are schools in Panevėžys training workers in areas of electronics, mechatronics, electrical and other kinds of engineering.
Šiauliai FEZ is lovated in the Northern part of Lithuania and is mostly focused on industrial production and engineering. The most favourable conditions are provided to those engaged in metal, plastics, textile and electronics. The infrastructure includes an airport and a major network of roads, which allows for effective logistics. The FEZ has actually been established in 1996, but relatively soon it was closed and reopened only in 2011.