The global automation solutions giant Festo is to expand its Kaunas service centre. The German company plans to employ an additional 300 finance, IT, document management, marketing and engineering specialists over the next three years, thus doubling its Kaunas-based team.
According to Pekka Parikka General Managerof Festo, the quality of the existing team in Kaunas encouraged the company to expand its operations there. “The main reason we have chosen to further develop our operations in Kaunas is the higher education system, which meets the company’s needs, and the competences of specialists who have studied at the higher education institutions in Kaunas,” says Mr Parikka “Our current employees have already demonstrated the high competence levels locally-educated specialists possess. Therefore, with that potential in view, and with the help of Invest Lithuania, we have decided not only to double our team here, but also to cooperate more closely with higher education institutions in Kaunas,” says Mrs Giedre Belazariene HR Manager of Festo.
The company, which has been operating in Lithuania since 1992, currently employs almost 270 specialists in Kaunas. When choosing where to expand, Festo considered Kaunas alongside other potential locations in Latvia, Poland, Romania and India.
Festo Group employs 19,000 staff in 176 countries and provides services and support to the company’s 300,000 customers in the world. The company creates about 100 new products every year and holds more than 2,600 global patents. Most of these patents relate to some of the most advanced automation systems in the world, including bionic learning technology.
Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis is determined to build upon success stories such as Festo’s by continuing to improve the country’s investment environment. “Germany is a key strategic partner in many areas, including direct foreign investment,” comments Mr Skvernelis. “Therefore, the success of Festo represents a victory for Lithuania. The investment environment in Lithuania, however, must be constantly improved and I believe that the proposed government reforms will provide both a serious impetus for the development of foreign companies already here and even more incentives for new ones to start operations here,” says the Prime Minister.
“Festo’s Kaunas office is the largest service centre of any production company in Lithuania,” states Mantas Katinas, director general of the foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania. “New work places will not be the only benefit Kaunas derives from Festo’s decision to expand. The continued success of this giant shows the growing potential of the city. This success will both attract the attention of other foreign companies and help to demonstrate the value of Kaunas as an investment location,” argues Mr Katinas.
There are currently 10 production company service centres in Lithuania. Some of the best known include those of Scandinavian companies Outokumpu, Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Paroc.
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