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Kaunas county, Vilnius city and Klaipėda FEZ recognized by investment experts

February 23, 2018

In the recently published European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 ranking, Vilnius scored 4th among mid-sized cities. Kaunas county, coming off a stellar year which saw it attracting a significant number of large corporations, entered the Top 10 list of Small European Regions of the Future in two categories: “Cost Effectiveness” and “Human Capital and Lifestyle”.

Meanwhile, fDi Magazine in 2017 (part of Financial Times Group) recognized Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) for its Fast Factory Launch scheme in the Global Free Zones of the Year ranking. The city’s FEZ also received a Specialism Award for its booming PET production ecosystem.

Such high rankings in fDi Magazine, as well as those conferred by other international studies on competitiveness and business environment, do much to increase a country’s visibility globally as a location for investment. This can then lead to that country being prioritized when companies draft lists of potential locations for new investment projects.

Attracting foreign direct investment is vital as this creates the grounds for Lithuania to generate sustainable and well-paying jobs in its cities and regions, which then helps to minimize the scale of outbound migration.

Vilnius competes with Zurich

This year, fDi Magazine recognized Vilnius’s investment attraction strategy as one of the best in Europe, and the country’s capital ranked fourth in the Mid-sized European Cities of the Future 2018/201, placing it in front of Bristol, Gothenburg, and Wroclaw, among others.

In this ranking, Vilnius was hot on the heels of Zurich, Edinburgh, and Bratislava. The Lithuanian capital was also recognized as one of ten best mid-sized European cities in terms of economic potential.

According to the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius, the city’s high ranking is real evidence of the city’s standing as a hub for investment and this will in turn open even more doors when it comes to potential investors.

Vilnius city, as well as the entire Vilnius region, is also one of the Top 10 in the “Human Capital and Lifestyle” and “Cost Effectiveness” categories.

Kaunas gets a due mention

This year, the fDi Magazine included Kaunas county in their Small European Regions of the Future 2018-2019 ranking. The county scored the 10th place in the “Human Capital and Lifestyle” category and the 9th place in the “Cost Effectiveness” category.

Kaunas FEZ has become a major  attraction for investors. The German automotive company Continental has chosen the FEZ as the location for its new plant, and it has pledged to invest €95 million and create 1000 jobs there the next three years. In Kaunas city, a noticeable increase in the supply of new offices has led to the establishment and growth of foreign service centres.

Klaipėda FEZ continues to shine

In October 2017, Klaipėda FEZ was included in the fDi Global Free Zones of the Year ranking for its Fast Factory Launch scheme. This scheme offers companies sites that come complete with all the necessary construction permits, and the ability to customise each site to match the investor’s individual needs.

Eimantas Kiudulas, General Director of the Klaipėda FEZ, argues that it is the ease of starting a business and production that determines how attractive a location will be for potential investors, and that’s why this Quick Launch award is extremely valuable.

2016 was truly a great year for Kaunas FEZ.  It received awards for the favourable conditions it provides for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while Klaipėda FEZ’s management company was also recognised for the development of its current customers.

There are currently 6 free economic zones operating in Lithuania (including Marijampolė FEZ, Panevėžys FEZ, Kėdainiai FEZ and Šiauliai FEZ). According to the FEZ Association, together they have attracted €860 million in investments. The two oldest zones – Klaipėda FEZ and Kaunas – have attracted the most, with 29 and 24 foreign companies, respectively.

60% higher salary

According to Invest Lithuania, 39 FDI projects, which should create 5060 jobs, were attracted to Lithuania in 2017. For the first time in recent years, more jobs have been created in the regions than in Vilnius.

Invest Lithuania’s experts emphasize that in 2016 the average monthly salary in foreign capital companies amounted to €1255 (before tax) and was almost 60% higher than the national average in Lithuania. In addition, according to analysts, the more than 100 foreign capital companies attracted to Lithuania purchase goods and services from local companies amounting to more than €300 million annually. In addition, every year their workers spend another €150 million on services and goods from local companies.

Source: Verslo žinios

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Aistė Žebrauskienė
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    Aistė Žebrauskienė Press Officer
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