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invest in Lithuania?

Friday 12 November, 2010

I lunched with this group hosted by the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago INVEST IN LITHUANIA: YOUR BUSINESS ADVANTAGE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION Here are the presentations that were given:

Here’s the video they showed.  Here are the 10 most important points I pulled out of their presentations:

  1. Chicago has a sizable Lithuanian population
  2. 10% of Lithuania’s population is in college
  3. Lithuania’s macro fundamentals are strong due to the participation of Swedish banks
  4. They’ve maintained the value of their currency & now teach austerity measure to others
  5. Lithuania seeks to be northern Europe’s service hub by 2015 & innovation center by 2020
  6. Lithuania has a geographic advantage being in the Baltics (pop 110M), near the Commonwealth of Independent States (pop 200M), & is a part of Europe (pop 340M)
  7. Lithuania has high mobile penetration @ 147%
  8. R&D projects can receive grants to cover up to 70% of the cost
  9. Lithuania offers “super-accelerated” depreciation
  10. Foreign direct investment requests can be reviewed & confirmed within a matter of weeks
  • D. Kurowski of Strategic Staffing Solutions noted that 90% of Lithuania’s population speaks a foreign language.
  • A.K. Dutta of CSC was able to open their European near-shore servicing center in the Nordics within 6 months.
  • B. Davis of Phillip Morris praised the Lithuanians for the open & transparent privatization of industry there.

my $.02-I’ve visited Lithuania & I think the most important point is they are embedding themselves into the fabric of the region, which has tremendous benefits for everyone.  For all of the small countries in the Nordic region to band together, they add a lot more clout to otherwise minuscule markets.  Adding the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, & Estonia to the already strong Denmark, Sweden, Norway, & Finland creates an area that’s bigger than the sum of it’s parts.  Plus the Scandinavians are good business people.  When I spent 6 months in Sweden, I was impressed with the general level of technology to which everyone was accustomed & expected.  Sometimes it’s difficult to get the Danes & Swedes to work together, etc., but when they realize it’s to everyone’s benefit, they fall into line.

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