Lithuania 

Overview

Lithuania is the southernmost of the three Baltic states (the other two being Latvia and Estonia) and the largest and most populous of them. Lithuania was the first occupied Soviet republic to break free from the Soviet Union and restore its sovereignty via the declaration of independence on 11 March 1990.

It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea to the East of Sweden and Denmark and shares borders with Poland to the southwest and Belarus to the southeast.

The Lithuanian landscape is predominantly flat, with a few low hills in the western uplands and eastern highlands. The highest point is Aukštasis at 294 metres. Lithuania has 758 rivers, more than 2800 lakes and 99 km of the Baltic Sea coastline, which are mostly devoted to recreation and nature preservation. Forests cover just over 30% of the country.

Some 84% of the population are ethnic Lithuanians. The two largest minorities are Poles, who account for just over 6% of the population, and Russians, who make up just over 5%. The Lithuanian language belongs to the family of Indo-European languages.

The capital, Vilnius, is a picturesque city on the banks of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, and the architecture within the old part of the city is some of Eastern Europe’s finest. Vilnius University, founded in 1579, is a renaissance style complex with countless inner courtyards, forming a city within the city.

Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million as of 2013.


Lithuania - Location and Connectivity

lithuania map

Lithuania is located on the crossroads of 3 huge markets. It amounts to approximately 750 million consumers on Lithuania’s doorstep.

Lithuania is a springboard to both the EU markets of Western Europe and Scandinavian countries, and the Eastern markets of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Lithuania is a part of the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), and has always been an active business partner with its neighbours in the region like Germany and the Scandinavian countries, as well as Poland, Latvia and Estonia. The BSR accounts for almost 70% of Lithuania’s foreign trade and about 70% of foreign direct investment as well.

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 recognised Lithuania as a prime transport centre linking the EU with the East:

Lithuania has four international airports and an ice free state seaport at Klaip?da .It also has a transcontinental railway network links Lithuania with markets in the Middle and Far East and the best network of roads and motorways in the region.

The country also has four multimodal logistic hubs: Klaip?da (seaport–rail–highway), Kaunas (rail–airport–highway), Vilnius (rail–airport–highway), and Šiauliai (rail–airport–highway).

 

Flight Times to Vilnius from major locations:

Moscow

1hr  34 minutes

Frankfurt

1hr  58 minutes

Paris

2hr  33 minutes

London

2hr  32 minutes

Mumbai

7hr  37minutes

Beijing

8hr  44 minutes

New York

9hr   2 minutes

Toronto

9hr   5 minutes

Shanghai

10hr 3 minutes

San Francisco

11hr 57 minutes

Sau Paulo

14hr 8 minutes

Sydney

19hr 34 minutes

 


Lithuania – a business supportive environment

Given the need for speed in today’s global marketplace, Lithuania has become northern Europe’s pre-eminent service hub. You can set up a company here in just three days. The stable political and macroeconomic environment is safeguarded by our membership of the EU, NATO, WTO and Shengen Area.

Ready-for-business locations

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

There are seven Special Economic Zones (SEZ), covering over 1,500 hectares, located in major Lithuanian industrial centers.  The SEZs provide physical infrastructure support as well as support services and generous tax incentives.

State and private industrial parks with extensive electricity, gas, sewerage, transport infrastructure that can be easily customized.

Five integrated science, study and business centres (valleys) provide support to develop and introduce new technologies and products. One Valley, Santaka, focuses on engineering; others emphasize development in sectors including nanotechnology and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Tax incentives

With one of the five lowest corporate tax rates in the EU, Lithuania’s business-friendly fiscal policy includes a range of deductible expenses:

Tax incentives in the seven Special Economic Zones:

  • 0% corporate tax for the first 6 years
  • 50% discount on corporate tax over the next 10 years
  • 0% tax on dividends
  • 0% tax on real estate

Corporate profit tax incentives for R&D:

  • Expenses incurred by companies carrying out R&D projects can be deducted from taxable income three times.
  • Long-term assets used in the R&D activities can be depreciated within two years.

Corporate profit tax incentives for investments into new technologies:

  • Companies carrying out investments into new technologies can reduce their taxable profits by up to 50%. Investment expenses exceeding this sum can be postponed to later, consecutive tax periods (up to five years).

From office space to manufacturing plant, you’ll also find the business property you want at rewardingly competitive prices.


Industry Sectors and Clusters

Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Lithuania is an attractive and still not overloaded location for near-shoring services and outsourcing business development.

 Over the last couple of years Lithuania has seen a growing presence of shared service and BPO activities. Today Lithuania is the leading country among the Baltic States in the number of shared service and BPO projects attracted over the last ten years. With an impressive roster of multinational companies providing services for the European market in the English, German, Russian, Polish and Scandinavian languages, Lithuania is an attractive location for near-shoring services and business process outsourcing. Multinationals such as Barclays Bank (UK), Western Union (US) and Computer Sciences Corporation (US), Mirror Accounting (Norway), Danske Bank (Denmark) have chosen Lithuania, because of its:

  • Educated and Competitive Talent Pool
  • World Class ICT Infrastructure
  • Business-Friendly Environment
  • Modern and affordable office space

The banking service hotspot in the Nordic region for support functions

During recent years, Lithuania has established a reputation as the banking service hotspot in the Nordic region for support functions. Over the last couple of years Lithuania has been attracting an increasing interest from the banking industry: a number of major banks have established different business support functions in Vilnius, from payment processing to IT operations.

Within the last few months three major Nordic banks (Danske bank, SEB bank and Swedbank) have announced their plans to establish and grow their back office operations in Lithuania.

Barclays and Western Union, who entered Lithuania in 2009-2010 have quickly grown their operations to about 1000 people each. Business process outsourcing and consolidation is an important part of the banking sector optimization strategy. Since we have worked extensively on all of the above mentioned projects in Lithuania, we know the challenges and needs of the industry and how Lithuania could fit into their broader strategy.

Other strategically important sectors in Lithuania include:


ICT

Lithuania has the largest ICT industry in the Baltic States with outstanding potential for both local as well as foreign expanding businesses. IT services have been among the fastest growing industry sectors in Lithuania over the past few years. The growth of Lithuanian IT service exports was three times higher than total service exports growth in 2012.While the number of persons employed in IT services was 6,800 in 2006, it had almost doubled to 12,000 by 2011. Such a substantial increase was mainly the result of growing foreign investments in the Lithuanian IT sector.

Right caliber talent pool

Embedded across the entire country, Lithuania’s advanced information and communications network is super-fast and ultra-reliable. What's more, Lithuanians are among the most ICT-proficient nations in the European Union – Lithuania tops the rankings with 96.7% of individuals aged 16-24 obtaining ICT skills through formal education institutions.

In terms of availability Lithuania has got plenty to offer professionals in the ITC sector in particular. Currently there are more than 22,000 IT professionals employed in the market with an additional 6200 who are studying IT curriculums in 21 higher education institutions across the country.

Topping Estonia and Latvia, this provides an addition of 1,750 IT professionals yearly.

World-class ICT infrastructure

Lithuania is among the leading countries in information and communication technologies in Europe and the world:

  • 2nd fastest internet upload and 4th fastest download speed in the EU
  • 1st in the World competitiveness yearbook rankings for communications technology
  • 3rd in the EU for the share of fixed broadband lines equal to or above 30Mbps
  • 1st in the EU and 6th in the World for highest fiber to the home penetration rate (31%)

The number of apps developed in Lithuania from 2009 -2011 has gone up by 1500%

Additionally, Lithuania is 1st in Europe for density of network of public internet access points. Consequently, 93% of all financial operations are performed via e-banking in Lithuania. The most up-to-date ICT technologies (LTE technology, 3G mobile communications infrastructure, mobile WiMAX 4G Internet etc.) are fully implemented and functioning in the entire country.


Manufacturing

Over the past decades, Lithuania has upgraded the technology of its traditional industries. Manufacturers now use cutting-edge industrial processes which are integrated into European and global supply chains. Top tier engineers and the highest educated labour force in the EU work in the country’s vibrant state-of-the-art facilities.

The results are impressive: since 2009 the manufacturing sector in Lithuania has grown by almost 18 % annually, reaching 17.9 billion EUR in 2012. Engineering generates 12% of the country’s manufacturing output. Engineered products in Lithuania find their way into the assembly lines of such companies and organisations as NASA, BMW, Volkswagen, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes Benz, MAN and other.

Close geographic location and links to service Russia from the EU

Many companies see Lithuania as a springboard from which to penetrate the vast markets of the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union and other CIS countries. This eastern vector is increasingly important now that Russia has joined the World Trade Organization; not to mention Scandinavia and the rest of the European Union. This amounts to 750 million consumers on Lithuania’s doorstep.

Mechanical Engineering and Automotive

Mechanical engineering is highly competitive and one of the fastest growing segments of manufacturing industry. Over 2009-2012, the production value of mechanical engineering sector grew at an average annual rate of 18%. Approximately 28,000 people are engaged in local and foreign companies operating within this sector.

Lithuanian’s automotive component sector produces both simple and highly complex products for agricultural vehicles as well as light and heavy vehicles. Firms in Lithuania produce and export components for firms such as Renault, Mercedes, Audi, General Motors, Bombardier, MAN and Yazaki.  The products include cable harnesses, fuel pumps, compressors, and brake systems.

Deep technical expertise and a well-educated workforce

The growing manufacturing industry in Lithuania is both cost-competitive and integrated into world markets.

The presence of highly-skilled engineering corps experienced in developing international production chains for the most demanding large international companies.

Fifth highest percentage of students pursuing engineering, production or construction studies in the EU.

4,000 new engineers graduate annually – 16,000 students are currently pursuing engineering studies in universities and colleges.


Life Sciences

Lithuania’s life sciences sector has expanded by over 20% annually during the past two decades and has emerged as a life sciences hotspot in Central and Eastern Europe. Globally recognized brands such as TEVA, Thermo Fisher and Valeant pharmaceuticals now call Lithuania home.

Lithuania’s well-developed educational system – including 16 academic institutions and 15 R&D centres – serves as the foundation of the country’s life sciences industry.  In addition, approximately 300 million EUR have been invested into 5 integrated science, research and business valleys, one of which is focused specifically on life sciences and biotechnology. This support and Lithuania’s strategic location, with access to Eastern and Western markets, and a regulatory framework meeting EU standards provide investors a cost-effective investment destination.

Biotechnology

The Lithuanian biotechnology industry has been rapidly developing since the 1990s and is regarded as one of the most sophisticated in Central and Eastern Europe. More than 1,000 people work in the country’s biotech field, representing a substantial and growing share of the nation’s 18,000 R&D specialists.

Lasers and Electronics

With over 40 years of laser physics research history, Lithuania is also proud of its science and laser technology research centres which carry out fundamental and applied research. Lithuanian origin products make nearly 10 % of the global market’s lasers used for scientific research.

Medical devices

Lithuania is moving towards an innovation economy by upgrading its traditional industries to compete in knowledge-intensive sectors. Lithuania aims to further develop the medical devices industry which can already boast on remarkable success stories.

R&D

During the last decade, Lithuania has begun to upgrade its traditional industries and has become open to innovation, promoting higher-quality high-tech industries through R&D support, high-tech industry incubators, and a motivated educational focus.


Transport and Logistics

Lithuania is a strategic location with very business-friendly dynamics. The country offers easy and rapid access to three important markets: the Baltic Sea Region, the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). This amounts to approximately 750 million consumers on Lithuania’s doorstep. China is accessible by rail in just 13 days via Kazakhstan and we are just 2 - 3 hours away from the major European capitals by plane.

lithuania map transport

Easy access to both Eastern and Western markets

An ice-free seaport in Klaipeda is a bridge joining the CIS, Asian, EU and other markets.

Thanks to its unique geographical location and history, Lithuania has over the years developed a sound awareness of both Eastern and Western mentalities, and firm traditions of cooperation. Lithuanian entrepreneurs are familiar with Eastern countries, and they have retained strong links with entrepreneurs from this region. The Lithuanian nation is valued in Eastern markets as a member of the European Union that has the know-how of European business culture. The well-developed logistics business in Lithuania confirms the country‘s role of a middleman between the East and the West.

Two routes of the international Trans-European transport corridors cross the territory of Lithuania. Lithuanian truck fleet counts more than 25,000 vehicles. Logistics account for 10.6% of GDP. There are more than 850,000 m2 of logistics and warehousing facilities.

Lithuania has seven Special Economic Zones, totaling 1 519 ha, with physical and/or legal infrastructure, support service, and tax incentives in the major Lithuanian industrial centers. State and Private Industry Parks are prepared for business use and have all the typical physical infrastructures required (electricity, gas, sewerage, roads, etc.).


 

The Economy

Lithuania is at the heart of the world’s leading economic region, the Eurozone.

  • The combined GDP of the European Union’s 28 Member States exceeds that of the United States ; the European Single Market boasts more than 500 million consumers with high purchasing power.
  • In 2012, the European Union received US$258.5 billion in foreign direct investment inflows, significantly higher than the United States (US$167.6 billion). 
  • Technological power, with one and a half million researchers.
  • A Europe that is committed to deeper economic and monetary union and to reducing government deficits. A €120 billion growth pact was adopted by the European Council in June 2012.

Real GDP growth slightly increased. In the third quarter of 2013, the GDP grew by 2.2% as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. Gross fixed capital formation and household consumption were the main drivers of the economy growth, while growth of export fell down. Economic sentiment indicator (ESI) is still growing and reached 6 points in September 2013, which was 6.8 points above its long-term average and 8 points higher than the year before.

Annual rate of change in household consumption accelerated to 6.0% in the period under review. Monthly earnings increases, a fall in the unemployment rate and better expectations of consumers all contributed to the household spending increase. At the end of the period, compared to the corresponding period of the last year, the consumer confidence index improved 11 points and reached -9.

General government consumption expenditure growth remains low. In the period under review, compared to the third quarter of 2012, public spending grew by 0.8%. Government expenditure is limited by strict fiscal consolidation rules and euro adoption criteria.

Growth of export of goods and services fell to 5.5% (at current prices) compared with 13.9% in the previous period. A sharp fall in the refining margin of petroleum and price of fertilizers has negative impact on export of mineral and chemical products. They account for more than 30% of export of goods. Import of goods and services grew by 7.4% as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

In the third quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate fell to 10.9% from 11.7% in the second quarter. The indicator fell by 1.6% as compared to the third quarter of 2012.The youth unemployment rate increased from 21.0% to 23.1% due to seasonal effects. The figure was 27.4% in the third quarter of the previous year. The long term unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%. The number of employees reached 1,308 million and it increased by 0.8% as compared with the same period of the previous year. At the end of the third quarter, compared to the previous period, the biggest growth of vacancies was in construction and industry sectors.

Annual growth of industrial output fell sharply. In the period under review, growth of industrial output fell from 6.6% in the second quarter to just 0.1% in the third quarter as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. However, without the refined petroleum products production increased by 3.4%. Production output in manufacturing decreased by 3.6% (at current prices) as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, while excluding refined petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products it grew by 7.7%. In the nearest future, the industrial output growth may be expected to rely on the domestic and EU markets as the main trading partners in the East are facing economic problems.

Lithuania’s industry production amounted to €5.2 billion (without refined oil products – €3.6 billion) over the period under review. In the third quarter of 2013, the Industry confidence index fell by 5 points to -2 points.

 

Lithuanian Economy at a Glance

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

GDP at current prices, € billion

24.1

28.7

32.4

26.7

27.7

31.0

32.9

34.6

GDP growth (annual), %

7.8

9.8

2.9

-14.8

1.6

6.0

3.7

3.2

Annual inflation, %

3.8

5.8

11.1

4.2

1.2

4.1

3.2

1.2

Cummulative FDI, € billion

8.4

10.3

9.2

9.2

10.0

11.0

11.9

-

Unemployment, %

5.6

4.3

5.8

13.7

17.8

15.4

13.4

11.8

 

 


 

Lithuania is business-friendly and cost-effective

Business Start up

Steps to start a private limited liability company in Vilnius

  1. Check and reserve the name of the company (limited liability company).  This takes a matter of minutes online and costs around 16 euros
  2. Register at the Company Register, including registration with State Tax Inspectorate (the Lithuanian Revenue Authority) for corporate tax, VAT, and State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA). This takes  one day and costs about 60 euros
  3. Complete VAT registration. This is free and will take 3 days.

 

Business Law

Types of companies

 

individual enterprise (sole proprietorship) (P?);

general partnership (TUB);

limited partnership (KUB);

public limited liability company (AB);

private limited liability company (UAB);

state enterprise;

municipal enterprise;

non-profit organization (VŠ?);

agricultural company;

co-operative enterprise;

European company;

European Economic Interest Grouping.

The most common method of investment in the Republic of Lithuania is through the incorporation of a private or public limited liability company (UAB or AB) under the Law on Companies of the Republic of Lithuania or acquisition of shares in existing Lithuanian companies. Still, the most popular form of doing business in Lithuania is through a UAB. A comparison of the main features of both types of companies is presented in the table below:

 

Requirements for the formation of business

 

Requirement type

Private Limited Liability Company - UAB

Public Limited Liability Company - AB

Minimum authorized (share) capital

approx. EUR 2,900

approx. EUR 43,450

Maximum number of shareholders

249

Not established

Minimum number of shareholders  (incorporators)

1

1

Liability of shareholders

Limited

Limited

Audit

Not mandatory

Mandatory

Public trading in securities

Prohibited

Allowed

 

Company registration

Registration of a UAB requires taking the following five steps:

  • lodging of an application for reservation of the UAB name;
  • preparation of the incorporation documents;
  • opening of an accumulative bank account;
  • submission of documents for certification by a notary public;
  • registration of the UAB with the Company Register Office.

The estimated time for incorporating a UAB is about 3 weeks after all the incorporation documents are duly executed.

Shareholders

The shareholders of AB or UAB may be Lithuanian or foreign individuals or legal entities. There are no restrictions or special encumbrances set forth in respect to foreign shareholders under the Law on Companies of the Republic of Lithuania. Lithuanian laws do not restrict in any way the participation of foreigners in the management of Lithuanian companies.

Foreign citizens may be freely elected either to the supervisory council or the board or the position of CEO. However, if such foreign citizens are employed in the company (employment is mandatory only for the CEO), they must obtain temporary residence permits. Such permits are normally valid for up to one year, but for EU citizens they may be issued for up to five years (permits are renewable).

Employment Law

According to the requirements of the Labour Law, the employment contract must be in writing and it must contain essential provisions in order to be valid, such as conditions of payment, the place of work and a job description. Certain types of employment contract may require additional provisions such as the term of the contract, seasonal work, etc.

The Law currently allows for the conclusion of a fixed-term employment contract for newly created workplaces even if the work is of a permanent nature. The duration of a fixed term contract cannot exceed 5 years.

Temporary hires, provided through employment agencies, offer an alternative to fixed term contracts. Temporary employment is rapidly growing in Lithuania as a flexible solution for part time, project or fixed term employment, and as a risk management strategy at the startup stage. Temporary employment is regulated by Law on Temporary Agency Employment, which was adopted to implement the EU Directive on temporary agency work.

Termination of an employment contract

The Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania (Labour Code) regulates the dismissal of an employee.

The main bases of employment termination

An employment contract is terminated by

expiry  of an employment contract

agreement between the parties

liquidation of an employer without a legal successor

notice of an employee

death of an employee

notice of an employer

 

other cases provided by the law

If there is no fault of the employee, the employment contract may be terminated by the employer for good reason, e.g. due to circumstances related with the employee’s qualifications, professional competence or behavior at work. The contract may be also terminated for economic or technological reasons, due to structural changes at the work place etc. The employer dismissing an employee at the employer’s initiative without fault on the part of employee must give him a written notice at least 2 months before the termination date.

Work hours, overtime work, remuneration

The normal work hours for an employee may not exceed 40 hours per week. The daily period of work should not exceed eight working hours. A five-day workweek is standard, but it may be extended to six days. Generally overtime is prohibited. An employer may apply overtime hours only in exceptional cases, which are specified in the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania. In any case the employee’s overtime hours shall not exceed four hours in two consequent days and 120 hours per year for each employee.

A different annual duration may be established in the collective agreement for overtime hours, however, not exceeding 180 hours per year. The pay for overtime and night work shall be at least one and a half times the hourly pay/monthly wages established for the employee.

Vacation

The minimum annual paid holiday is 28 calendar days, but is increased to 35 calendar days for employees: 1) under the age of 18, 2) a single parent raising a child under the age of 14 or a disabled child under the age of 18, 3) disabled employees. Normally, all employees are entitled to their annual paid vacation leave after they have worked in the company continuously for an initial period of six months.

Work permits for non-residents

Foreign citizens (except EU citizens) who are not permanent residents of Lithuania may work temporarily in Lithuania under an employment contract, provided they have a work permit issued by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. EU citizens are released from the obligation to obtain a work permit, but those who intend to reside in Lithuania for more than three months within a half-year period must obtain a temporary residence permit. It is not possible to apply for a residence permit while staying in Lithuania on a short-term visit visa.

Regulatory authorities

Depending on business activities, the liaison with various regulatory authorities (including, but not limited the Register of Legal entities, State Labour Inspectorate, the Competition Council, State Data Protection Inspectorate, the Communications Regulatory Authority, Migration Department) of the Republic of Lithuania is involved in the different stages of the operations of the companies.

Taxes

Enterprises registered in Lithuania must pay taxes in Lithuania on profits and capital gains earned both in Lithuania and abroad. Withholding taxes paid abroad and not exceeding the tax payable in Lithuania on foreign income may be credited. Moreover, tax relief may be applied according to applicable international treaties.

Major Corporate Taxes

Tax

%

Corporate profit tax

15  (4th lowest in the EU in 2012)

VAT

21

Dividends*

0-15

Personal income tax

15

Employee’s social security tax

9

Social security tax paid by the employer

up to 30.98

Real estate tax

0.3-3

Tax grouping is not allowed in Lithuania, thus each company is taxed separately. However, intra-group transfer of losses is permitted. This allows groups to balance profits and losses within them, whereby losses can be transferred among different entities of a group if the controlling entity holds at least 2/3 of the shares of the controlled entity, and some other conditions are met. If not transferred within a group, operating tax losses can be carried forward for an unlimited period of time. Losses incurred from disposal of securities can be carried forward for a period of five years and can be offset against income of the same nature.

Among other favourable conditions of corporate profit taxation in Lithuania are the following:

  • Entities can reduce taxable profit up to 50 percent if they are carrying out an investment project into qualifying assets, if certain conditions are met;
  • Expenses incurred by companies carrying out R&D projects can be deducted three times;
  • 0 percent withholding tax on interest when the recipient of interest is established in the European Economic Area (EEA) or country with which Lithuania has signed a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation;
  • 0 percent withholding tax on royalties paid to related parties meeting requirements of the EC Interest and Royalty Directive;
  • 0 percent withholding tax on dividends distributed to a foreign/Lithuanian entity where the recipient has held not less than 10 percent of voting shares for a continuous period of at least 12 successive months;
  • No corporate income tax on dividends received from EEA countries if the dividends were distributed from profits which were subject to corporate income taxation;
  • No corporate income tax on capital gains on transfer of shares when a Lithuanian company is transferring the shares of the entity which is registered or otherwise organized in an EEA Member State or in another country, with which Lithuania has concluded a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation, and the transferring company holds over 25 percent of shares in the aforementioned entity for not less than two years (whereas in case of reorganisation – for not less than three years);
  • Advanced Pricing Agreements (APAs) and Binding Rulings available as from 1 January 2012;
  • 0 percent corporate income tax for six years in free economic zones.

 


Lithuania is highly productive and has a talented workforce

Lithuania’s recent history of forward thinking governance places particular emphasis on intelligent investment in our people. Comparative research has highlighted that Lithuania has one of the best-educated talent pools in the European Union. Lithuanian society, with its creative and responsible citizens, is ready to embrace global challenges.

Here are the key competencies of the Lithuanian labour pool as described by foreign investors:

  • High number of graduates
  • Western culture
  • Consistently high quality of spoken English
  • Availability of other languages
  • Quick learners and very loyal employees
  • Among most multilingual in the EU

Lithuanians are good at languages, and it is no wonder that Lithuania finds itself among the top five EU countries boasting the greatest number of people proficient in at least one foreign language. As many as 92% of Lithuanians can converse in foreign languages (usually English, Russian and German), and this is far beyond the EU average of 54%. About half of the Lithuanian population speaks two foreign languages.

Among most educated nations in the EU

Lithuanians are among the most educated people in the European Union. 92% of population has secondary or higher education (compared with an average of 74% in the EU). Around 49% of Lithuanians hold a higher education qualification (age group 25-34 years), which is the 4th largest percentage in the EU.

At the beginning of the academic year 2012-2013, there were over 113,000 students enrolled in Lithuania’s 23 universities, and more than 45,000 students in 24 colleges. In 2012, almost 42,000 Lithuanians graduated from colleges and universities, of which more than 29,000 obtained their degrees in universities and 13,000 in colleges. Lithuania has one of the EU's most educated populations and continues to serve as a pool of well educated professionals for local and international businesses.

Cost-effectiveness and flexibility

It is crucial to mention that the large pool of well-qualified talent is known for highly competitive prices and flexibility EU-wide:

Labour costs are 4 times lower than the EU average. The minimum monthly wage in Lithuania is currently 290 EUR, and the minimum hourly wage is 1.76 EUR.

One of the most flexible employment markets in Central and Eastern Europe: 3rd lowest in hiring difficulty and 2nd most flexible wage rate regime.

The two largest Lithuanian cities - Vilnius and Kaunas - are among the top 10 most cost-effective cities in Europe. In addition, population of Vilnius (~540k) provides the 2nd largest labour pool in the Baltics; Kaunas (~310k) is the 4th largest city in the Baltics.


Quality of Life

According the Mercer Cost of Living Index 2012, Vilnius is among Top 10 least expensive European cities to live in, and this only one of the reasons why Lithuania is such a nice place to live and do business. There are many other reasons:

  • Lithuania is  a short flight (2 to 3 hours) from any European country
  • In the International Living 2011 Quality of Life Index, Lithuania was ranked among Top 40 countries of 192 countries in the world for the quality of life
  • According to International Herald Tribune magazine, the capital of Lithuania Vilnius is among 10 World's Hip Cities
  • Vilnius’ Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is vibrant and pedestrian-friendly

Lithuania provides a comfortable environment for families from abroad to enjoy life, with easy access to all sorts of social services. Lithuanian universities welcome foreign students eager to enrich their knowledge. And high quality, private healthcare services are available in all cities and towns:

  • University education available in five cities.
  • Secondary education at international schools in larger cities.
  • World-class treatment and healthcare services in public hospitals and private clinics in all cities and towns by multilingual professionals who have completed placements in Western European countries.
  • With more than 13 thousand health care professionals, Lithuania has 400 health care professionals for every 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Ecologic products – Lithuanians cherish the traditions of their ancestors, growing and producing many day-to-day consumables by themselves, even in cities.

Rich cultural life

A large variety of festivals take place throughout the year in major cities and resorts for those who enjoy classical, jazz and folk music, theatre and film. Lithuanian’s music and theatre performances have always been world-class. Many foreign theatre, opera and ballet groups, and popular music bands include Lithuania in their world touring schedules as well.

Lithuania has five national parks and 30 regional parks filled with virgin forests and unspoiled marshlands, inhabited by endangered wild animals and rare birds.

Lithuania has 22,200 rivers and rivulets and over 2,850 beautiful lakes. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about Lithuania and its lovely, unspoiled countryside. Staying in a traditional homestead by a tranquil lake is just one of the options.

Great recreational activities

Various SPA centers in Lithuania provide high quality beauty and medical treatments for a reasonable price, where ancient traditional methods of treatment are combined with modern technologies. This type of relaxation is appreciated not only among Lithuanians, but also among foreign tourists – Russians, Poles, and Germans. Druskininkai is one of Lithuania’s oldest resorts.

In addition, there are four ski resorts in Lithuania. The newest and the most modern Druskininkai Snow Arena is the only winter activities complex in the Baltic countries open for skiers and snowboarders all year round. The overall length of the slopes in the Arena is more than 2 kilometres. All ski resorts rent equipment and use modern funiculars and are popular among tourists from Poland, Russia and other countries. Tennis players are welcome to enjoy their game in modern indoor and open tennis courts in Lithuania, and golf lovers may choose from five outdoor golf courses with of a total length of more than 110 kilometres.

Regrettably cricket is not a major sporting pastime in France.


 

Contacts

Invest Lithuania

Jogailos str. 4, LT-01116 Vilnius, Lithuania

Tel. +370 5 262 7438

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