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19 October 2017
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Archive for November, 2011

Very well produced

- Posted by - (1) Comment

 

Thank you for sending me VILNEWS. It is very well produced, informative and a very good read for me as I wish to stay in touch with Lithuania life and business. I receive the daily Baltic News but it is inferior to VILNEWS as it is always biased towards Latvia and has many mistakes in the English. VILNEWS is much more professional and absorbing.
John Burrows, London
OBE HonRCM

Category : About VilNews sidebar / Opinions

Lithuania sets up representation in Silicon Valley, California

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 
Lithuania sets up representation in Silicon Valley, and has already attracted one Valley company, US Levanta Scientific, to establish a new R&D unit in the Sunrise Valley in Vilnius. Levanta’s customer list includes impressive names like NASA, The Department of the Navy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, and the Smithsonian Institute.

Lithuania has set up a representation in the Silicon Valley, located in Northern California, in the United States, to raise the country’s awareness among the companies operating in the world’s best known agglomeration of technology businesses and to encourage their investment in Lithuania.

INVEST LITHUANIA has signed a partnership agreement with Noah Mamet & Associates, a strategic consultancy firm, which will be in charge of organising the representation activities, such as presentations, business meetings, events and marketing campaigns.

"Our goal is to target as many US companies as possible in order to attract their attention towards the potential of high technology business development in Lithuania," said Mantas Nocius, Managing Director of INVEST LITHUANIA, commenting on the decision to set up a representation in the Silicon Valley.

One of the latest investment projects announced in Lithuania involves the Silicon Valley as the US company, Levanta Scientific, is to establish a new research and development unit in the Sunrise Valley, based in the capital city Vilnius, through its subsidiary based in the Silicon Valley. The project, valued LTL 16.2 million (EUR 4.7 million), will offer more than 80 jobs.

Category : News

Lithuania reports 20 FDI projects of EUR 106 M, giving 2.500 new jobs

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“These trends point to the fact that Lithuania attracts investment to both manufacturing and service sectors. It means that the country is capable of offering proper conditions and enough of competent specialists for various businesses,” said Rimantas Žylius, Minister of Economy.
www.ukmin.lt

A total of 20 investment projects during the first nine months of 2011 with the overall project value at LTL 366 million (EUR 106 million) and more than 2,500 new jobs due to be offered have been confirmed, by signing letters of intent, by the Ministry of Economy and INVEST LITHUANIA.

The deals include five manufacturing projects, and another fifteen are in the service sectors.

The largest manufacturing projects will be carried out by Danspin, the Danish producer of carpet yarn, which invests LTL 41.4 million (EUR 11.9 million) into a new factory in Raseiniai, and Homegroup, the British manufacturer of furniture, which will allocate LTL 18.6 million (EUR 5.4 million) to expand its facility in Klaipėda. The latter deal is the largest in terms of a number of new jobs which is planned to reach 1,100.

The list of the largest service project is led by Call Credit, the UK’s company which is setting an LTL 52.7 million (EUR 15.3 million) customer service centre in Vilnius, and Western Union which is expanding its existing service centre by investing LTL 39 million (EUR 11.3 million). They are followed by GFK Austria which plans to open a representative office by allocating LTL 37.3 million (EUR 10.8 million). The two projects will create 200 new jobs each.

“These trends point to the fact that Lithuania attracts investment to both manufacturing and service sectors. It means that the country is capable of offering proper conditions and enough of competent specialists for various businesses. It is important that some of the projects are planned in smaller cities which usually receive less foreign investment and the creation of new jobs is therefore particularly important there,” said Rimantas Žylius, Minister of Economy.

All five manufacturing projects announced this year are to be implemented in towns and cities other than Vilnius, while smaller cities also attracted two of the service-related projects.

The two latest confirmed projects include a LTL 16.2 million (EUR 4.7 million) investment into a new scientific research laboratory by a US-based company, Levanta Scientific, in Vilnius and a LTL 12 million (EUR 3.5 million) project by a budget carrier Ryanair aimed to establish an aircraft maintenance centre in Kaunas. The projects are to introduce up to 80 and 60 of new jobs accordingly.

“Lithuania records a growing flow of investment into research and development of manufacturing. Also, foreign investors encourage demand for certain professions. For instance, the Ryanair’s new maintenance centre will surely prompt more people to opt for careers as aviation technicians,” said Mantas Nocius, General Manager of INVEST LITHUANIA.

According to Statistics Lithuania, the total accumulated foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first six months of this year amounts LTL 1.411 billion (EUR 408.7 million). The analysis made by the Ministry of Economy suggests that in one year this amount of FDI can contribute to lowering the unemployment rate by almost one percentage point and adding almost LTL 1 billion (EUR 289.6 million) to the country’s gross domestic product.

Category : News

Good example to Lithuanian news media

- Posted by - (0) Comment

I think telling as you see it should be a good example to Lithuanian news media and political commentators. The Chronicle you wrote is excellent. You have done a great job and should be proud of it.
Jonas Kronkaitis, former Commander in Chief of Lithuania's Armed Forces

Category : About VilNews sidebar / Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

I can feel the warmth of VilNews!

Great! Congratulations! On this very cold day I can feel the warmth out of VilNews!
Justas Dvarionas, Vilnius

Category : About VilNews sidebar / Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 

Lithuania's remarkable recovery


VILNIUS
Photo: European Commission

BY ANDERS ÅSLUND
BRUSSELS - This year, Lithuania is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe with an annualized growth rate of 6.6 percent during the first half of the year. This high growth is driven by an exports surge of no less than 38 percent.

This is an incredible achievement after a vicious financial crisis. Remember that Lithuania’s GDP slumped by 14.7 percent in 2009. The explanation is rigorous government policy. Lithuania’s attainment is often ignored or belittled because its neighbors Estonia and Latvia have carried out similar miracles, but they are all true heroes, and Lithuania’s cure looks remarkable also among this tough competition.

As the bankruptcy of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008 caused a global liquidity freeze for half a year, the countries that were hit the hardest were small, open countries without guaranteed access to swap credits from major central banks. In other words, the Baltic countries.

Read more:
http://euobserver.com/7/114419

Category : News

- Posted by - (3) Comment

Welcome to readers in
20 new countries!

VilNews keeps getting new readers in ever more countries. Since October, twenty new countries have ‘signed up’. It's incredibly exciting to see that Lithuania and ‘the Lithuanian’ is becoming increasingly better known in all corners of the world. We wish all our new readers welcome!

You are all invited to send us news and other matters that are related to Lithuania in the country or region where you live!

CAYMAN ISLANDS

MALI

EL SALVADOR

GAMBIA

TOGO

MAURITIUS

YEMEN

ARUBA

ANTIGUA &

BARBUDA

BARBADOS

MACAU

NAMIBIA

BURKINA FASO

VIRGIN ISLANDS

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

BERMUDA

JAMAICA

Guam

GUAM (USA)

BAHRAIN

ZAMBIA

Category : About VilNews / Front page

With Russia’s WTO bid at hand, Lithuania counts on MFN status

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BY THE BOOK: Povilas Gylys isn’t worried by a Russia that tries to bend the rules, saying that the WTO needs to stick to its principles.

KLAIPEDA - While Lithuania was cozying itself up to Russia’s pending membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia’s apparent other pursuit - establishing the Eurasian Union, which is said to be the brainchild of incumbent PM Vladimir Putin - has taken it aback, making high echelon politicians newly speculative about Russia’s true goals.
“The post-Soviet Eurasian Union is an alternative and contra-argument to the European Union. Furthermore, it is a hurdle for EU expansion to the East. If Russia succeeds, the Eurasian Union will be just another variety of the Soviet Union. I see Russia’s drive for WTO membership and establishment of the Eurasian Union as deliberately entwined. As far as the pro-Russia Eurasian’s possibilities to use WTO membership as a political weapon are concerned, I would rather withhold from expressing my opinion. Let the boss [it remains unclear whether Landsbergis referred here to Lithuanian President Grybauskaite] figure it out,” the patriarch of Lithuania’s modern history, Vytautas Landsbergis, said to The Baltic Times.

Read more: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/30050/

Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

Lithuanian Company Among Five Most Innovative in Europe


www.biocentras.lt

Biocentras, a Vilnius-based producer of biotechnology products, entered the shortlist of final five in the European competition aimed at selecting most innovative biotechnology companies. Apart from the Lithuanian firm, the EuropaBio’s top five included German, Belgian and two Dutch pharmaceutical companies.

Category : News

- Posted by - (0) Comment

Lithuania second in EU by economic growth

The Lithuanian economy expanded by 7.2 percent in the third quarter of the year compared to the respective period in 2010, the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said. Among the 27 member of the EU, Lithuania is second only to Estonia which posted a 7.9 percent increase in its gross domestic product over the period.

Category : News

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

Read more...
* * *

Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
* * *
Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >



VilNews e-magazine is published in Vilnius, Lithuania. Editor-in-Chief: Mr. Aage Myhre. Inquires to the editorseditor@VilNews.com.
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