Lithuanians are famous for their diligence, and foreign entrepreneurs appreciate their good qualifications and high motivation. An old Chinese proverb says: “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people”. Lithuania successfully applies this wisdom and pays special attention to the quality of education and training of its people. The exceptionally high level of education of the Lithuanian people enables the country to create a higher added value and ensures its rapid economic development.
Lithuania has a well developed business infrastructure.
Photo by G. Savickis / Elta
SHARED SERVICES AND BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING (BPO)
Lithuania boasts of the recent arrival of world’s established multinationals, like Barclays Bank, Western Union, IBM, Computer Sciences Corporation, to name but a few, which provide services to the entire European market in English, German, Russian, Polish and Scandinavian languages. Lithuania has been selected for still not so much overloaded market of shared services and outsourcing business developments, as well as for strong talent pool of highly-skilled, well- educated and multilingual professionals, its world-class infrastructure.
Market observers forecast a further rapid growth in the industry. By 2015, the share of exports of services should make approximately 1/2 of Lithuania’s total exports.
According to the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index 2011, Lithuania went up by 7 places to rank 14th globally, leaving behind the UK (16) or the US (18) as well as the neighbouring Poland (24) or Hungary (31) and the Czech Republic (35).
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Lithuania has the largest ICT industry in the Baltic States. 14 out of the 20 largest IT services companies in the Baltic States are based in Lithuania. Lithuania has got a talent pool of more than 45,000 employees in the ICT and services business. There are 7 universities and 8 colleges with IT curriculums in Lithuania.
Lithuania has the most up-to-date technologies which is one of the major needs to offshore services (EDGE technology, 3G mobile communications infrastructure with data speeds of 3.6 Mbps and mobile WiMAX 4G Internet).
Lithuania has Europe’s fastest and world’s second fastest Internet upload and download speed, sixth in the world fibre optic communication penetration (23%), Europe’s highest density in fibre optic and public Internet access points, EU’s greatest GSM penetration (99.9%), and it is World’s No. 1 in the number of mobile telephone per 100 population. Lithuanians use almost 5 million active SIM cards. And finally, the country leads the world in mobile e-signature.
It is expected that by 2015 products of IT, laser technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and materials science will constitute 25 % of Lithuania‘s GDP and 80 % of national export.
The Lithuanian biotechnology industry has been developing since the 1990s and is regarded as one of the most sophisticated in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the last five years, annual sales in the biotechnology industry have gone up by over 15 %. The funds allocated for research and development have been annually growing at an average rate of 34%. Biotechnology research has been carried out by various research institutions and companies; the techniques of biotechnologies and products have been applied across the fields of medicine, pharmacy, chemical industry, agriculture, environment, etc.
Biotech sector of Lithuania represents world-class research. The Lithuanian invention – the medicine against cancer TevaGrastim® is the newest worldly acknowledged medicine which is 25-35% cheaper than a similar treatment already on the market, but just as effective. The European Medicines Agency granted the marketing authorization for the Lithuanian invention to be marketed in Europe from 2009.
Lithuania is among the world leaders in the biotechnology business.
Photo by V. Trublenkovas
- 5 research institutions carry out chemical and biochemical research on protein, enzymes and nucleic acid for pharmaceutical purposes, and also execute molecular biology research on prokaryote and eukaryote cells.
- 16 institutions, including five major universities, train biotechnology and business specialists in cooperation with both domestic and foreign biotechnology companies.
- Medical and Pharmaceutical Valley "Santaka" began in the capital, Vilnius.
Laser technology is another high-tech pillar of the Lithuanian economy with the annual growth of 20% and nearly threefold increase in sales over the past 5 years. Lithuania is the world leader capturing 50% of the world market for high-energy pico-second lasers and more than 80% of global production of ultra fast parametric light generators. 86% of Lithuanian laser production is exported to nearly 100 countries ensuring world recognition of quality and diversification of markets.
“This year, in its publication dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations, the Embassy of Japan points out lasers as Lithuania's export product to Japan, which has at all times taken a significant share, but in 2010-201, it accounted for a third of Lithuania's total exports”, – says P. Balkevičius on the subject of international achievements.
Lithuania captures 50% of the world market for high-energy pico-second lasers.
Photo by E. Paukštė / Ekspla
Major laser physics and technology research centres operate within the largest universities of Lithuania. Clients of Lithuanian companies include NATO, Penthagon, Nuclear Research Centre in Israel, Rezerford Laboratories in England, Berkley University in the USA, Livermore National Laboratory etc.
- Global leadership in applying fundamental research to manufacturing
- Leading in global production of ultra-fast parametric light generators (80 %)
- Every tenth laser professional holds a PhD
- 86 % of production exported to nearly 100 countries
- Lithuania lasers have 10% share in the global scientific laser market
- Winner of the 2011 Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in Scientific laser category (EKSPLA)
Alternative energy development is already accelerating in the country. Lithuania continuously fosters renewable energy deployment (hydro, wind, biomass and solar) aiming at large 23% RES share by 2020. Clean energy technologies, at the same time, are becoming increasingly significant for Lithuania’s exports.
Following the best European practices, Lithuania uses feed-in tariffs to promote renewable energy.
On 31 January 2012, Lithuanian solar energy company Baltic Solar Energy and Baltic Solar Solutions signed an agreement in Visoriai IT park in Vilnius with the solar cell manufacturing equipment supplier from Germany Singulus Technologies AG. The production has been projected to be launched in the first quarter of 2013. By 2014, the total investment in the centre of 27,000 sq. m. is expected to reach LTL 150 million.
Huge emerging clean-tech industry potential is also witnessed by the fast development of five R&D and business valleys, the pool of 18,000 local scientists and researchers, world-class achievements in electronics, and obvious interest coming from institutions and businesses with respect to the development of this industry.