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Ernst & Young features Lithuania in ASEAN FinTech Census 2018 report

March 15, 2018

Lithuania: Gateway to Europe

Is Vilnius the new London?

For a long time, London was considered the place to be for ASEAN’s FinTech companies wishing to make it big in Europe. However, with Brexit just around the corner, Britain’s capital is about to lose the key advantage of being the gateway to Europe for non-EU players. The question is how can a country with three times fewer people than London take its place as the continent’s FinTech hub?

It takes a blend of a forward-thinking educational policy and hassle-free migration options to create a climate where talents flourish and want to stay. When it comes to Lithuania, it offers both a growing number of local IT specialists and a simple way to import talent via the EU Blue Card program. Entrepreneurs from non-EU regions like ASEAN can also apply for a special Startup Visa, approved by the country’s government.

Despite its relatively small population of less than 3 million, Lithuania has an impressive number of tech-savvy professionals, 2000 of whom already work in FinTech companies. Latest data from the country’s Statistics Department shows that there are more than 31,000 IT specialists in Lithuania, with almost 9,000 in the making. The vast majority has no trouble working in an international environment, as 84% of young talents are proficient in English. Cases of companies like Singapore’s InstaReM and UK’s Revolut are solid proof of this.

Revolut, the UK-based challenger bank, had their office opened in Lithuania last year. Having applied for a European banking licence from the Bank of Lithuania, Revolut is planning to further strengthen and expand their Baltics’ office in Vilnius. Lithuania not only helps develop Revolut’s solutions but also is the company’s third largest market globally. This shows that Lithuanians are not just financial technology creators but also one of the early adopters.

Fastest gateway to the EU market

Talent aside, there is another reason why Lithuania is riding the wave of the FinTech revolution. The Bank of Lithuania, the body that regulates the whole FinTech ecosphere, is a government institution ready to embrace next-gen technologies. One might think of Lithuania as Europe’s Singapore – both are small in size but progressive in terms of innovations. And, being a part of the EU market, Lithuania is able to issue a license valid in 28 countries faster than anyone else.

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Aistė Žebrauskienė
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    Aistė Žebrauskienė Press Officer
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    Thank you!

    Thanks for reaching out to us, this means a lot! We will get back to you shortly.

    Meanwhile, we invite you to discover what’s new in the Lithuanian business landscape.

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