The city of Vilnius makes it a strong point to win international investors and they are very successful in doing so. Why are they successful? With a strong service in mind, Invest Lithuania as well as the Investment dept. of Go Vilnius (we wrote about it) complement each other in supporting investors and consolidation of the various governmental strategies, like taxation, a huge talent potential, speed of utility facilitation (to get the necessary bureaucracy done), buying land to accommodate establishments of companies and many more initiatives. 2016 was another record breaking year for the foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania as it attracted 36 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects to Lithuania. These projects are set to create 3,716 jobs over the next three years.

As said, the positive investment conditions are a reason for more and more companies choosing to build a business in Lithuania. Be it a start-up or an established company that wants to relocate or expand its business. This is where Invest Lithuania joins the game. Johanna and I talked to Dalius Morkvenas, Head Marketing & Communication Department of Invest Lithuania.

Mr. Morkvenas described the wide field of Invest Lituania’s activities to attract international investors into the country.
“Invest Lituania is a mix of B2B and competition consultants, we have lawyers and can help with product development. We give support, knowledge and provide contacts. We are there for the Investor from the beginning and accompany the whole process of settling the business. All services are completely free as Invest Lithuania is a government agency, dedicated to foreign investment promotion in Lithuania. Our particular focus is placed on the fields of Shared Services, Manufacturing, Technology and Life Sciences.”

We asked Mr. Morkvenas what project & client profile has to be met to get help from Invest Lithuania:
“First of all it must be a “green field project”, which means they have to create completely new operations, completely new jobs. Secondly, 90 % of the productions/services have to be exported so that the Lithuanian market won’t be spoiled. Retail is excluded as are services for the domestic market – example: Lidl Logistic Centre Northern Europe is supported, but shops are not; Philip Morris yes because they export 90 % of their production.”

What kind of companies are mainly coming here?
“These are Shared Service Centres of companies working in different countries and outsourcing a complete field of operation, e.g. management for the whole group, or the development of mobile applications – everything that can be organized in one service centre. Dominating is the financial sector, production of goods, IT (e.g. gaming studios, cybersecurity. In the financial field we have Nordic Banks, Western (US), Barclay (UK), AIG (US). Then in the field of manufacturing, again Nordic countries are the most. Some manufacture here, whereas the administration would remain in the resp. country itself (office, marketing etc.). As a service we are standing on the companies’ side when it comes to taxes, political issues, employment rules etc. Our key performance indicators are – how many jobs can be created and how many companies/exports do we attract.”

Creating the link to the meeting industry, how can Invest Lithuania be of help to meeting planners:
“We work closely with GoVilnius on the support of congresses. Invest Lithuania can bring in the contact with local experts in knowledge segments and we also are interested in presenting the options in the country during the congress, e.g. during board meetings or at business associations for our preferred target sectors, like financial and medical technologies or cybersecurity. We have access to official, public institutions, contact to the prime ministry and economic minister. We’re also helping with field trips and programs.”

Asked for his personal view on the work he does, Dalius mentioned that it is an honour for him to work with the strong international brands that are now in Lithuania – a lot of things have changed in the 4 years he is with the organization and he is proud on being part of this development.

One of these companies is AIG, the American International Group (AIG), one of the world’s largest insurance companies who opened a service center in Vilnius in 2015, and the General Manager Przemyslaw Siuda was also visited to check about the reasons for their decision to come to Vilnius:

“When our company decides for a country, a committee is analyzing a number of factors that are important:

1. The people in the city who need to be highly educated, talented and show broad language skills. We’re a young, vibrant and dynamic company. The average age of employees is 30 years old.
2. There needs to be a good infrastructure, IT, WLAN
3. It needs to be a likable location, a high quality of living
4. Accessibility

And Vilnius meets all these criteria.”

Mr. Siuda also emphasized that the company received great support from Invest Lithuania. They provided information, established contacts with the business society and local organizations and much more.

AIG actively participates in selected local social responsibility initiatives to strengthen links within the local community. They support institutions for children, participate in cleaning the river, and a youth community refurbishment. Last year, AIG partnered with Greenlight for Girls (g4g) to inspire young women in Spain and Lithuania to embrace the ‘STEM’ subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. So they commit to leaving a good legacy in the country.

The number of companies moving to Vilnius is steadily increasing. Recently, Go Vilnius announced that another company has moved to Vilnius: Outokumpu, the largest stainless steel producer in Europe, opened its Global Business Service Center (GBS) in Vilnius on March 22nd.

Please read all stories from our story line:

Your contact in Vilnius:

Jolanta Beniuliene
Head of Vilnius Tourism and Convention Bureau
Go Vilnius | The official international economic
development agency of the City of Vilnius
tel. +370 5 212 1833

Your contact at tmf:
Ulrike Kiesel
Project Manger Content & PR
+49 931 9002 114