In 2017, Lithuania rose to 4th place in the European Union according to planned new jobs in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects per one million population. Only Luxembourg, Ireland and Romania scored higher.
The report by the analytics team of Invest Lithuania states that last year 3,066 jobs were projected by FDI projects per million population. The EU average is more than three times lower – 900 jobs per million population.
The gap between Lithuania, which came fourth (with 3,066 jobs per million population), and Romania, which came third (with 3,111 jobs per million population) is very small. In the meantime, Slovakia (with 2,352 jobs per million population) and Poland (2,290 jobs per million population) which rank fifth and sixth respectively are quite far behind the first four.
Based on the FDI projects attracted to Lithuania last year, 8,733 jobs will be created. Lithuania is the absolute leader among the Baltic countries in this respect – last year it attracted five times more jobs than Latvia and 14 times more than Estonia.
“2017 was exceptional with the arrival of such industry giants as Continental, Hollister and Booking.com, who will create a total of approximately 2,400 jobs. These well-known names may raise interest of other similar size companies, but success stories alone are not sufficient – we must continue to improve our offer, to expand the infrastructure and to ensure training of highly skilled specialists,” Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, Mantas Katinas, said.
fDi Markets notes that Lithuania has achieved excellent results not only in the number of new jobs in FDI projects, but also regarding the number of FDI projects per one million population. Last year Lithuania ranked fifth in the EU according to the total number of FDI projects (21.4 FDI projects/million population) just behind Malta, ranked fourth (21.7 FDI projects/million population), and Finland ranked third (21.8 FDI projects/ million population). It is worth noting that in this respect Lithuania is an absolute leader among Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries; it is way ahead of Estonia and Hungary, which are second and third after Lithuania, with only half the number of the projects. One of the reasons for this is that last year Lithuania attracted many small specialised businesses which create high added value.
High added value of the attracted FDI projects accounts for the fact that 20% of all attracted companies are engaged in manufacturing and development businesses. The average indicator in the Central and Eastern European region is less than half the indicator for Lithuania – only 9%. The Minister of Economy, Virginijus Sinkevičius, maintains that this trend shows that Lithuania is able to compete at a higher level.
“Lithuania rapidly broke into the segment of countries, in which FDI projects compete not by the cost of labour, but by competence, knowledge, and innovativeness. The fact that a fifth of companies last year chose Lithuania for product design and R&D centres is good news and at the same time an indication that to continue to compete with foreign countries we must strengthen our innovation policy,” Mr Sinkevičius said.
Manufacturing became the leading sector last year. This sector accounted for 25% of the FDI projects attracted to the country last year. It is in worth noting that according to Cushman & Wakefield analysts, Lithuania is the world’s second-most attractive destination for manufacturers.
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