• LT Articles
  • 4/4/2022

A delegation from the Finnish Embassy and Finnish Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce visited Kaunas: some companies can wait for better times

The delegation of the Embassy of Finland, which is the seventh largest investor in Lithuania, visited Kaunas on Monday to discuss further investment opportunities for businesses operating in their home country. It has been repeatedly emphasized that although we live in extremely difficult and uncertain times, there is untapped potential for the development of cooperation between Finland and Lithuania.

There are many examples of success

Intensive trade between Finland and Lithuania has been going on for many years - it is estimated that the value of trade reaches as much as 1.37 billion. euros. Finnish companies are also willing to expand and expand their operations in Lithuania - there are about 200 Finnish capital companies with about 10,000 employees. Among the best-known success stories in our country, the beverage manufacturer Volfas Engelman and the seller of oil products Neste Lietuva are distinguished.

Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland Elina Rimppi also mentions the Metso Corporation data center and the stainless steel producer Outokumpu, the law firm Fondia and one of Finland's most respected and largest employers, YIT Lietuva, as examples of successful investments. A delegation of the Embassy of Finland also visited the office of this construction company, which applies the values of Finnish work at work.

"Finland's work culture is characterized by fairness, punctuality, equality and equal working conditions, early planning and word-keeping, where an oral agreement has the same value as a written one. All this is perfectly applicable in YIT, which is a real example of success in both Lithuania and Finland. After all, it is one of the largest development and construction companies, employing about 7,000 people in ten countries. The buildings it builds are well-designed, sustainable, durable, made of quality materials and environmentally friendly, ”says Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland to Lithuania.

The investment environment in Lithuania is favorable

As the main motives to strengthen trade and increase Finnish investment in Lithuania, Elina Rimppi mentions development-friendly free zones and good infrastructure. It also emphasizes low corporate and personal income tax rates, an acceptable level of pay, a quality workforce, and good English language skills for younger workers. An attractive Lithuanian work culture and business mindset are becoming especially important.

"Lithuania has made significant progress over the past 20 years, which is confirmed by many ratings. Now, the support of the European Union (EU) funds is making the country quite attractive for development - the EU Instrument for Economic Recovery and Increasing Resilience, which finances structural reforms and promotes economic recovery. RRF) amounts to 2.225 billion. euros. These funds will be used to expand green energy, intelligent transport and other emerging areas of innovation: green hydrogen, 5G and biotechnology. This may become a new sector in our cooperation, so this year's "Finnish team", which helps our country's business, is focusing on the healthcare and water management sectors and smart manufacturing, "says the Finnish Deputy Head of Mission.

In order to discuss these perspectives and get better acquainted with the business situation in the region, the delegation of the Embassy of Finland also visited Kaunas City Municipality.

Some companies due to the war in Ukraine may hold back investment

True, there is still room for effort. In particular, according to Elina Rimppi, a Finnish company not yet operating in Lithuania, has a slightly outdated image of the country and is better acquainted with the Estonian and Latvian markets. Attitudes towards investment in the region are also being changed by the geopolitical situation and the turmoil in global financial markets and supply chains.

"First of all, the current security situation in Europe is worrying - Russia's aggression and the war in Ukraine are affecting investments in companies. The extremely high energy price, the still-ending COVID-19 pandemic and the long-standing shortage of skilled labor in Lithuania also make them more appreciable.

An important factor for China is that the trade dispute with the European Union is being resolved in the World Trade Organization, and the country's relations with Lithuania have deteriorated. We live in exceptional times, the uncertainty of which is reflected in the companies - they may delay the planned investments. However, we hope that the future will soon be brighter and that we will be able to strengthen trade and investment relations between our countries, ”the interlocutor hopes.