“Invest in Lithuania” 2018 results held a record number of attracted projects

Last year The Invest Lithuania Development Agency for Foreign Investment attracted a record number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. Those 45 projects attracted 4,600 new jobs. Invest Lithuania emphasizes the main trends of the past year – the growth of financial technology sector, the maturity of the service center industry and the growing interest of companies in research activities in Lithuania. Compared to 2017, the number of FDI projects scheduled for implementation has increased by 22%. (36 projects were implemented in previous years). “Foreign companies that chose Lithuania last year, plan to pay salaries 2-4 times higher than the national average. Although the number of jobs created allows to compare such investment projects with large-scale production projects, they create jobs with very high added value and help Lithuania grow in industries that will become the basis of the future economy, ”said Minister of Economy and Innovation Virgius Sinkevicius.

Year of financial technology

Last year, the financial technology sector (fintech) in the country grew very rapidly. At the end of the year, the Bank of Lithuania issued one hundred licenses that allow fintech companies to provide services throughout the EU. According to the head of Invest Lithuania, Mantas Katinas, fintech industry can be called the country’s business card. “Financial technology is a business niche where Lithuania can gain leadership. Fintech companies in Lithuania find not only a progressive regulatory environment that allows them to make decisions for the whole Europe, but also have strong talents, without which it would be impossible to develop these solutions, ”says Mantas Katinas. “Until now, in the Lithuanian fintech sector there was no recognition of a well-known participant in the international market. Last year, two such companies were brought – Revolut and Google. The recognition of these world-class players means that more similar companies with a similar level will consider Lithuania as a potential place for development. ”

Lithuania as a base for product development

More and more companies are choosing Lithuania for research and experimental development (R&D). For this reason, the range of companies that have chosen our country is very wide – from the craft intelligence solution produced by Convious (Holland) to the image recognition system for self-propelled machines developed by TonboImaging.

Industry service centers

In 2018, the service center industry grew not only due to the development of existing centers, but also thanks to new names. Historically, the Nordic-oriented sector has attracted several investments from the United States; including the financial market giant Moody’s. Currently, service centers operating in the country employ over 17 thousand professionals. “Recent years have shown that the service center sector continues to grow in width and depth. Almost half of the service centers themselves develop robotic solutions in the country. Financial and IT operations of varying complexity, data analysis and product development are only part of the functions performed in Lithuanian service centers. Last year, the attracted centers – Moody`s and Yara – will complement the market with new competencies that will benefit the whole sector, ”says Mantas Katinas.

According to Invest Lithuania, last year Lithuania became more visible in the business world. One of the indicators is the 14th place in Lithuania in the prestigious Doing Business rating. “Last year we held first place in Central and Eastern Europe. This means that we have raised above all neighboring countries, which we often compete with for the same investors. The record rating gives us additional benefits at the first stage of site selection – when companies decide which countries to include in the overview, ”says the head of Invest Lithuania. Other positive developments include direct flights from London starting this year. According to some experts, to increase the number of new investment projects it is necessary to improve the investment environment in the country. The agency identifies three main areas. Firstly, the development of industrial infrastructure, with special emphasis on the country’s regions. Secondly, the orientation of the education system is to ensure that graduates are prepared for the modern economy, and the country continues to attract talented specialists. Thirdly, improving communication with key global economic centers by expanding the geography of business flights.

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