20 January 2018
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Business, economy, investments

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An old hospital is being turned
into a Tech Park in Vilnius
By Monika Poškaitytė
Communication Coordinator
Vilnius Tech Park
Lithuania aims to become a hotspot for startups in the region. Therefore, the old hospital buildings in the historical park of Sapiegos in Vilnius are about to become a park for entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation. In Antakalnis district in Vilnius, close proximity to the city centre.

Two private investors, together with their partners, offered to municipality to lease the buildings for 25 years and invest nearly 8 m euro to the renovation of the heavily rundown buildings. The agreement has been made. While keeping their original looks and historical value (there are some fragments of decorated floors, etc. left that will be kept), the buildings are about to be reborn as 8 000 sq meter space for startups and related infrastructure.

Category : Business, economy, investments / Front page

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   It’s the economy, stupid *


    By Valdas (Val) Samonis , PhD, CPC

   RRU and INET,

* When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, Democratic strategist James Carville famously posted a large sign in the campaign’s “war room” that read: “It’s the economy, stupid!” Carville wanted to remind his candidate and those working for him to keep their focus where he felt it belonged: the economy.


ABSTRACT. This paper takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian (LT) economy during the intellectually and practically interesting period (2000-2015) of the coincidence of a middle-income growth trap, that LT found itself in alongside other transition economies, and a policy response to the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) that started in 2008. The paper 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. Those forces were caused primarily by high debts of the EU countries and the mismanagement of both monetary and fiscal policies of the Eurozone during the misguided efforts to get out of GFC by the EU. Also, the paper 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. The paper points to some useful if debatable characteristics of this future effort. Read more…

Category : Business, economy, investments

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Closer bilateral ties

China – Lithuania


Zhang urged the two countries to further enhance mutual trust, and step up pragmatic cooperation.

Zhang said both sides should strive for breakthroughs in cooperation on major projects in infrastructure development and other areas. He said China is willing to participate in the construction of the Rail Baltic project in an appropriate form in a bid to complement each other and achieve mutual benefit and win-win situation.

Category : Business, economy, investments
Category : Business, economy, investments / Featured black

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What’s wrong with Europe
and how to fix it?

Valdas Samonis

Lithuania will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2013, starting from the 1st of July. VilNews has on this background asked readers to annotate and analyze factors that have to do with Europe, the EU, the euro and Lithuania. This is one of the posts we have received.

An article by Valdas Samonis, PhD, CPC
The Web Professor of Global Management(SM)

Cutting through the EU bureaucratic gobbledygook
Part 2

The more I am into my research on my forthcoming book
"INSIDER CRONY SOCIALISM", the more I see the parallels
between the Gorbachev's USSR and Barroso's EU!

Collapsing EUSSR under Reformer Barrosov?
Pray that God gives more wisdom to European Leaders!

I have to admit it.

The more I am into my research on my forthcoming book "INSIDER CRONY SOCIALISM", the more I see the parallels between the Gorbachev's USSR and Barroso's EU!

According to the numbers circulating in the European financial press, the EU outstanding debt is some euro 40 trillion!

The practically only EU paymaster's (Germany') GDP is some euro 2,5 trillion. I will not insult your intelligence; just compare the two!

For the first time in human history, the picture is further dangerously complicated by some one thousand trillion in toxic derivatives sloshing around the global economy. It is like financial AIDS and no bank will tell you that!

In terms of financial intermediation, Europe relies on banks much more than any other major region of the world economy.

On June 26, the EU agreed to a couple of years of reforms towards the European Banking Union (EBU), a very complex bank supervision, etc, arrangement that leaves some countries out, some in, to different and obfuscated extents, etc.

Coming to the Gorby/USSR parallel, when the central planning from Moscow (sorry: Frankfurt/Brussels!) doesn't work, the solution proposed by the planners is more centralized planning rather than letting nations or EU sub-regions to find their own workable solutions.

Germans are wise as usual; they exempted the great majority of their banks (that serve the German economy) from the EBU and will regulate them from Berlin, not Frankfurt (ECB)! Voila!

If I were a young European, I would buy my transatlantic ticket today; one way!

Pray that God gives more wisdom to European Leaders; as the Lithuanian Bishops suggests when the LT Presidency of the EU starts on July 01, 2013.

Category : Business, economy, investments

Over the past three years the share of EU citizens who want to be self-employed has fallen from 45% to 37%

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Brussels, Belgium — Over the past three years the share of European Union (EU) citizens who want to be self-employed has fallen from 45% to 37%, reports European Commission (EC). This year EC highlighted the need for more entrepreneurs in order to return the EU to economic growth and higher levels of employment.

However, historical, cultural and economic background of diverse European countries has significant effects on attitudes towards entrepreneurs in European countries. Lack of in-depth knowledge might determine future revival of entrepreneurship in Europe, reveals the study by Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) today presented in Brussels.

“It is a positive trend in Europe to turn to entrepreneurs and acknowledge their role in creating economic growth. Yet, without knowing the mistakes of the past, there is no future. This is especially important then considering New Member States, such as Lithuania or Bulgaria, which still carry a burden of post-communist past. Therefore, only full understanding of entrepreneurial situation per country can guarantee that necessary measures will be taken and they actually will give wanted results”, says Zilvinas Silenas, President of LFMI.

In line with the acknowledged need to revive entrepreneurial spirit of Europe, LFMI conducted an international in-depth study in two New EU Member States, Lithuania and Bulgaria, and for comparative reasons in two non-EU countries – Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The aim of the current study was to determine attitudes towards entrepreneurs in countries sharing the same post-communist past and underlying historical, cultural and economic reasons of such attitudes.

How to get rid of the “exploiter” image of the entrepreneurs?

According to study results, New Member States tend not to trust entrepreneurs. Only a third of Lithuanians (31%) trust entrepreneurs, whereas in Bulgaria only one fifth (19%) of citizens do so. The research has also shown, that the large part of population, while evaluating, if they trust or not entrepreneurs, stay neutral. Neutral position was held by 33% of citizens in Bulgaria and 38% citizens of Lithuania. In comparison, in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan trust rate is higher – almost a half of the population said that they trust entrepreneurs.

Moreover, 67% of Lithuanians and 69% Bulgarians agree or tend to agree with the statement that “Entrepreneurs get rich by exploiting other people’s work”. 

“The Soviet period was characterized by full nationalization and central planning of economic activities, by demonization of entrepreneurs. In all the countries the communist period did the most significant damage by stopping the development of entrepreneurship and creating a strong association between business and exploitation. Entrepreneurship is a natural process, which organically develops from the natural needs of a society, and the natural ability of entrepreneurs to fulfill these needs. Any top-down intervention in this process may be harmful and may hamper progress. Especially, if this intervention creates a negative image of entrepreneurship”, says Zilvinas Silenas.

According to anthropologist Prof. P. Subacius, study results show that in the mindset of post-communist rule people, there is not only a lack of trust, but a lack of favorable depiction and understanding of enterprising as such.

Entrepreneurship needs creativity and innovation, doesn’t it?

Majority (74%) of Lithuanians think that economic growth is created by entrepreneurs and businesses. In Bulgaria more than a half (55%) of population sees entrepreneurial efforts as the main source of economic growth. In Bulgaria as well as in Lithuania around a quarter of respondents thought that the government is the source of economic growth.

In Georgia and Kyrgyzstan about a half of respondents think that entrepreneurs and businesses create wealth for the society. In these countries there were slightly more people who think that the government is the source of economic growth in Kyrgyzstan (30%) and Georgia (34%) of respondents chose this answer.

“The differences between EU and non-EU countries are logical. In Kyrgyzstan the state sector is still dominant and, therefore, people see more important role for the state. During last decade there were significant economic and political reforms in Georgia. These reforms contributed to the economic growth and the people took this into account, when answering the survey. The optimistic sign from EU perspective is that the majority of the populations in two EU countries realize that businessmen are the creators of wealth in a society and that entrepreneurship requires a lot of hard work, risk taking and these qualities are admired”, claims Z. Silenas.

According to the study, the most common associations for Lithuanians, which arise when talking about entrepreneurs are social status (39% of Lithuanians chose the answer), hard work (39%), luxury (32%), risk (31%). These were followed by creativity (23%), ingenuity and innovation (21%), corruption (20%), bankruptcy (15%), crime (9%), charity (10%).

In Bulgaria many people associate entrepreneurs with corruption (23.4%). Ingenuity and innovation is only the seventh most frequently mentioned association out of ten – it was mentioned by only 14.3% against 23.4% for "corruption", 34.3% for "luxury" and 40.9% for "hard work".

According to scholars, recent data shows that for post-communist country residents it is easier to associate entrepreneurs with hard work as these qualities are more prominent in their culture and history. However, scholars admit that creativity, which is a fundamental quality in entrepreneurship, should receive more recognition from society.

“Results of the research warn that citizens of New EU States do not fully understand the function of the entrepreneur. When we think about the measures to encourage entrepreneurship in Europe, we must take this into account. Public understanding should come first. Only then support, advice or any other measures can give good results”, says Zilvinas Silenas.

However, lack of creativity in New EU Member States might be caused not only by the communist rule. In contrast, in Georgia people think that entrepreneurship and creativity goes hand in hand (64% of Georgians chose this answer).

No freedom, no businesses

When asked, what measures, residents believe, would mostly help to encourage entrepreneurship in Lithuania, the majority (62%) said lower taxes and less regulation by the government would help. Also a large share of population (45%) thinks that a larger government aid would help. A better public opinion (14%), better conditions for getting a loan (12%) and better education (12%) were less common among answers.

A large share of population in Bulgaria (39%) also thinks that lower taxes and less government regulation would help entrepreneurs. 24% of Bulgarians though that business needs more help from the state.

Both of these countries have the highest shadow economies from the EU-27 countries, which can be linked to high taxation and regulatory burden.

“The study shows that citizens clearly depict the problem of current economic climate, followed by huge unemployment. In times of high unemployment, people are willing to sacrifice the ability to have a higher wage and all the benefits that official employment brings in order to have any kind of job and to gain some marketable skills. Sometimes during rough periods the laws designed to give people security and a better future, ruin their chances of employment, and better prospects in life. Therefore, regulatory burden, taxation are the fields to be revised if we want to encourage entrepreneurship in Eastern European countries”, says Z. Silenas.

The research on the profile of an entrepreneur in the post-communist countries, which seeks to evaluate the image and with the help from historians, sociologists, experts of religious studies, anthropologists find the reasons for such an image, is a part of an international project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The project is implemented by LFMI with partners – Institute for Market Economics (Bulgaria), Central Asian Free Market Institute (Kyrgyzstan) and New School of Economics School (Georgia).

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) is a private non-profit non-partisan organization established in 1990 to promote the ideas of individual freedom and responsibility, free market, and limited government. Our goal is to help advance general interests of the people of Lithuania who can best be realized in a free market as every individual pursues his or her objectives – without any privileges, protection or restrictions – by serving the society and not relying on the government apparatus.

The LFMI‘s team conducts research on key economic and economic policy issues, develops conceptual reform packages, drafts and evaluates legislative proposals and aids government institutions by advising how to better implement the principles of free market in Lithuania. LFMI also conducts sociological surveys, issues economic literature and organizes conferences, workshops, and lectures. Educational activities are an integral component of LFMI‘s work aimed at making free market ideas a part of the Lithuanian society‘s life.


Vidmante Sirgedaite, Communication Officer
Lithuanian Free Market Institute
3A Šeimyniškių St., LT-09312 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel. 00370-5-250-0281, 
Mobile: 00370-653-70777

Category : Business, economy, investments

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 American company opens agricultural plant in Vilnius district

Kinze Manufacturing Inc., the second largest planting and seeding equipment manufacturer in the United States, will open a production facility in Vilnius District along the highway to Druskininkai.  The facility will manufacture the company’s agricultural machinery product line, planters/seeders, to support its growing market in neighbouring countries including Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Hungary.  It will open in autumn 2013 and start with 10 employees. In a few years the manufacturer will eventually employ 250 welders, mechanics, CNC operators and other specialists in its Lithuanian operations. 

“This is our first plant abroad geared to increasing sales in Russia, Ukraine and the whole of the European Union,” commented Susanne Kinzenbaw Veatch, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kinze Manufacturing, Inc.  “We were looking to expand in Eastern Europe and were considering Slovakia, Poland or Lithuania. We chose Lithuania because the local workforce is undoubtedly productive and cost-effective. Also we were very impressed by the country’s long-standing manufacturing traditions and the degree to which public institutions were attentive to our business needs.”

Kinze Manufacturing Inc. will develop the production plant in three stages. The initial assembly line will open this year and use both imported and locally-sourced components. In 2015, the manufacturer will open a welding and color-coating unit that will be partially reliant on components manufactured in-house; while by 2017 the facility will become fully-fledged, ranging in its functions from steel-processing to end-product assembly lines.

As a part of its shared value investment policy, the agricultural equipment manufacturer will also support local educational institutions and foster the skills of the next generation. The firm will work with universities as well as other professional schools and centers for engineering and production training.  It will offer students internships in the manufacturing facility as well as hands-on learning opportunities in advanced manufacturing technology and production processes. 

“Expanding manufacturing base is one of Lithuania’s key economic policy priorities,” said Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius. “Kinze’s investment is a validation that our competitive advantage is reinvented national legacy: advanced mechanical engineering skills, proximity to CIS markets, quality infrastructure.. This will be a major step in furthering our goal of developing a metal and machinery cluster.  This is critical since manufacturing contributes most to export figures and provides majority of private sector research and development investments..”

According to Milda Darguzaite, Managing Director at Invest Lithuania, Kinze Manufacturing Inc. project is going to have a significant positive impact on Lithuania‘s national economy. “Kinze is globally distinguished for its high professional quality standards and business integrity. From the manufacturing perspective, the company’s long lasting traditions in innovation will greatly contribute to Lithuania‘s engineering skillset, and will take us further in terms of new product development, process optimization and quality control”. This is another great indication of Lithuania‘s achievements in winning over investors with sophisticated manufacturing needs.

About Kinze:
Founded more than 46 years ago on the premise of innovation, Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., markets its planters and grain carts globally and is known for a number of industry “firsts.” Kinze operates with core values of integrity, customer focus, excellence, innovation and mutual respect. Kinze Manufacturing is the recognized technology leader and innovator of planters for row-crop production and grain auger carts. Kinze employees spend their nights and weekends farming, putting them in a unique position to be both manufacturers and customers of the planters and grain carts they build. For more information, visit the Kinze Manufacturing website at

©Copyright 2013 by Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. All rights reserved. Kinze® and the Kinze™ logo are trademarks owned by Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications, or add improvements at any time without notice or obligation. 

About Invest Lithuania:
Invest Lithuania is a Lithuanian government agency that provides free advice and introductions to on the ground experts for global companies interested in doing business in Lithuania.
The agency serves as a point of contact for foreign companies, and guides international businesses through every step of the process of setting up operations in Lithuania.
Invest Lithuania also provides information on Lithuania's highly-skilled yet cost-competitive labour force, tax incentives, and financing options.
The agency has worked with numerous well-known global companies that have taken advantage of Lithuania's many incentives to expand their businesses by placing some aspects of their operations in Lithuania.

For more information:
Dalius Morkvėnas | Head of Marketing and Communication Department at Invest Lithuania
Tel.: (85) 212 07 76, (8 630) 09 188 | Email:.

Brooke Baxley | Karwoski & Courage Public Relations
Tel.: +1 (612) 342 9817 |

Category : Business, economy, investments

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Lithuania’s best future
lies in a Nordic union

“Russia can turn the lights out on Lithuania and the other two Baltic states any time it pleases. And they can't turn them back on without Russia’s permission. Not only does this small, central European nation, as well as its neighbors Latvia and Estonia, not have access to the Russian owned-switch, but, to a large extent, it also depends on energy supplies from Russia to power its electricity generating plants; power that is needed for energy and economic independence.  Lithuania as well as the other Baltic countries, being poor in energy resources, are facing a tough future and are seeking solutions.”

This was what Dr. Stan Backaitis wrote here in VilNews in 2011. We have also published articles stating that Lithuania’s dependence on Russia, to a certain degree also EU, should be reduced. We have stated that the neighbours to the north in many cases would be much more attractive partners.

Lithuania has powerful Nordic neighbours, all with AAA credit rating.. These countries, however, are successful in many different ways, not least with regard to social welfare, health care, education, rule of law, transparency, press freedom and a very good balance between government, business, education, science, and more.
What the three Baltic States now face is that being members of the EU is not enough. The economic crisis, and partly also questions on defence and security, have led to new forms of cooperation, and our small nations far north in Europe are not always invited to become active participants.

It is therefore my opinion that a tight collaboration with the other Nordic countries is the way to go. Together we are large enough to be heard and our common identity and cultural background is a good basis for cooperation.

In the 13th century, an alliance of Northern European towns called the Hanseatic League created what historian Fernand Braudel called a “common civilization created by trading.” Today’s expanded list of Hansa states share Germanic and Scandinavian cultural roots. Germany and the Scandinavian countries have found their niches by selling high-value goods to developed nations, as well as to burgeoning markets in Russia, China, and India.

Widely admired for their generous welfare systems, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany have liberalized their economies in recent years. They account for six of the top eight countries on the Legatum Prosperity Index and boast some of the world’s highest savings rates (25 percent or more), as well as impressive levels of employment, education, and technological innovation.

“In strategies that we are developing for the next twenty years emphasize that it is important for the Baltic States to become more harmonized and catch up with Scandinavian countries. Integration with Nordic countries is an important objective,” said Andrius Kubilius, Lithuania’s former prime minister, in a meeting in Tallinn last year.

I think he is right.

Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief

Category : Business, economy, investments

New Lithuanian coins, of 1939-design, were bravely planned already in 1990

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Dear readers,

We are delighted and honored that Mr. Frank Passic graciously continues to share with us his vast knowledge of Lithuanian numismatics. In this article he provides us with a very interesting look into how Lithuania in April 1990 started planning for the re-introduction of Litas as the nation’s currency.

Frank Passic of Albion, Michigan has collected, researched, and written about Lithuanian numismatics for many years. His educational displays of Lithuanian money have won numerous awards at state and national coin shows in the United States. Of Lithuanian heritage, his maternal grandparents emigrated from Lithuania to America just prior to World War I. Frank may be contacted at:

We know you will enjoy this article and Mr. Passic has agreed to share with us many more of his writings so we definitely have a lot to look forward to – Ačiū labai Frank

Also have a look at:

Message from Frank Passic, Albion, Michigan, USA.

Labas Aage,

Enjoying your rembrances of 22 years ago. During that period I was promoting Lithuania in the American numismatic press. A decade earlier, a main U.S. coin catalog publisher, Krause Publications, had dropped the individual listings of Lithuania's pre-WWII independent coinage under the "L's" and put them under the USSR listing under its new geography policy.  After we collectors over here protested, they wouldn't budge, and instead said that when Lithuania became independent again they would then list Lithuanian coins under the "L's," but that Lithuania was part of the USSR and that that's how the coins would be listed in their catalogs.  To my glee, I was able to write them a letter during this period informing them that Lithuania was again independent and that they should list Lithuanian coins under the "L's" again along with the other countries of the world in their Standard Catalog of World Coins. They did just that and Lithuanian coins are listed under the "L's", not USSR or "Baltic."

It was an exciting time for me to be writing about Lithuanian numismatics as the numismatic events unfolded and to share them with the American numismatic community. Attached is one of my articles that appeared in the major coin newspaper COIN WORLD of Sidney, OH, November 16, 1992.

Keep up the good work,
Frank Passic, Albion, Michigan, USA. 

Frank Passic article from April 1990



Frank Passic article from November 1992 


Read also:

Lithuanian camps in postwar Germany issued their own money!
Vagnorkės – Talonas 20 year anniversary

First and second round of Lithuanian Litas

Category : Business, economy, investments

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24 NOV – 26 DEC 2012


Kaunas, Lithuania's second largest city and former capital, is receiving much attention in VilNews now as 2012 is coming to an end. We focus on history, business, culture, innovation, tourism and more. We would also like to hear from you who have your personal Kaunas story to tell...

Send us your Kaunas story!



Thinking of business?
Think Kaunas!

Kaunas is situated at the crossing of the main Lithuanian roads, where two European transport corridors intersect. Another important feature of Kaunas' transport infrastructure is its International Airport, located 15 kilometres northwards from the City. The Airport borders with Kaunas Free Economic Zone, forming excellent infrastructure for logistics.

Kaunas is a city with diversified industry, but the main industries are electronics, engineering, metal processing, construction materials, chemical, food processing and textile industries.

Kaunas City is home to Kaunas University of Technology Regional Business Incubator, and two science and technology parks. Another exceptional feature of the City is a large number of small and medium enterprises and high-tech businesses. In year 2005 Kaunas City created 2318,6 million EUR of Gross Domestic Product (11,2 % of Lithuanian GDP). Moreover, Kaunas attracted 1082,6 million EUR of Foreign Direct Investments in year 2005. Such companies as Marzotto Group, Kraft Jacobs Suchard, YIT (Finnish construction company), Kesko Agro (Finland) have chosen Kaunas City as the best location for their investment.

Having a strong education basis such as Kaunas University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas University of Medicine, etc., a number of colleges, and vocational schools, Kaunas City plays a major role in the economic development of the whole Region and the Country.



Kitron to invest in Kaunas
instead of China, Norway

One of the leading electronics manufacturing services suppliers in Scandinavia – Kitron – will expand its manufacturing facility in Lithuanian city Kaunas, and invest almost six million euros into this project, the Invest in Lithuania reports.


The expansion strategy of the Norwegian company in Lithuania encompasses an increase in its production capacity, the creation of 60 new job openings and an improvement to the company's revenue by 40%, writes LETA/ELTA.

In Kaunas, Kitron already produces electronic control systems for high-speed rail vehicles and electric grass mowers, electronic circuits for ultrasound devices, scientific equipment for seabed research, mobile blood test devices, smart grid/automatic meter reading systems and other electronic equipment.

"To win this expansion project, Lithuania competed with the US, Norway and China, all of which are well-known to Norwegian investors as countries where they have already established manufacturing facilities. Our country [Lithuania] was chosen because of its convenient location for logistics, the low costs of labor, and the resources to ensure production quality. Since the Norwegian company also supplies its goods to the defense and medical equipment industries, qualitative criteria were important to the decision on location," said the Managing Director of Kitron Lithuania, Mindaugas Sestokas.

Kitron is also looking to install a new production line and to set up a warehouse for Kitron group suppliers. Such a storage facility would be in line with LEAN system management principles, i.e., advancing the efficiency of the management of manufacturing processes.

Additional 290,000 euros will be dedicated to shared value investments, i.e., corporate practices that do not only enhance the company's competitiveness, but also contribute to the social welfare, such as cooperation with educational or other institutions. The development of innovative products and prototypes in the new production line would call for electronic engineering competencies that are still barely nurtured in Lithuania. Therefore, the company is ready to strengthen its ties with local universities, in particular with the Kaunas University of Technology. This cooperation foresees the reinforcement of study programs and the advancement of the university’s technological research facilities.

Under the scheme of the European Union's financial instrument Invest LT +, which promotes foreign investments in high value-added manufacturing and services, the company will receive 1.3 million euros in financial support.

Kitron delivers product solutions to some very well-known companies around the globe, including the Swedish vehicle manufacturer and supplier Volvo, the international Canadian aviation and transport company Bombardier, as well as the biggest supplier worldwide of forestry and horticulture equipment Husqvarna.


Category : Business, economy, investments

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Kaunas FEZ – the ideal
place for new business

Kaunas FEZ (Free Economic Zone) is a 534 ha industrial
development area which offers tax incentives.

Key advantages include:
· Considerable tax incentives;
· Excellent geographic location, coupled with high quality road and railroad connections;
· Adjacent to Kaunas Airport (at present 17 flight directions to the Western European Countries) ;
· Close to ice-free Klaipeda Seaport;
· Stable and constantly growing Lithuanian economy;
· Highly skilled and inexpensive workforce;
· Well developed infrastructure;
· Inconsiderable cultural and linguistic barrier;
· Good investment climate;
· Safety of business in the FEZ.

Watch presentation of the Kaunas FEZ:

For more information, see:

Category : Business, economy, investments

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Electric cars made in Lithuania!

Kaunas electronics manufacturer ELINTA has come a long way in developing a new electric car here in Kaunas. These three gentlemen are behind the success: Dr. Vytautas Jokužis, Laurynas Jokužis and Dr. Vladas Lašas.

Since 1994 Elinta has also been selling products from some of the most advanced European companies. They were the first to bring the products of SIEMENS, PHOENIX CONTACT, and RITTAL to Lithuania.

With time Elinta gained significance in the field of Lithuanian industry automation. With the aim to optimise its performance ELINTA modernised its organisation by relocating different types of activities to secondary companies: UAB Elinvision, UAB Elintos matavimo sistemos, UAB Elinta VS.

As a mother company, UAB Elinta coordinates the activities of its subsidiaries. It is involved in scientific-research work, employee training and other fields, necessary for the activities of the Company Group. Currently Elinta has Sales Department which sells automation elements, and an Assembly Department which assembles automation and electricity cabinets.

UAB Elinta VS is a manufacturing company, involved in technological process automation. The main areas for automation activities include heat and electricity production, water supply and cleaning, waste disposal, production of sugar, artificial fertilizers, bio fuel, and etc. The company performs designing, programming, management systems implementation and maintenance work. One of the projects was Kaunas wastewater treatment plant.

UAB Elinvision designs and produces computer vision systems, signal measurement and processing systems. These systems can be successfully applied in automation of production quality inspection in a number of industries. The company produces three-dimensional scanners (3D) for production of orthopaedic and regular shoes and granule size monitoring systems for fertiliser industry. 3 D scanners are knownmore than in 30 countries around the world.

UAB Elintos MS supplies measurement and calibration equipment, process calibrators, testing and adjustment systems, data collection instruments and feeding sources for industrial enterprises.
Elinta has always been an inovative company, suggesting new ideas, solutions for interprises and society. Latest idea that has grown from a project to real creation is Elinta Electric vehicle. Elinta was the company that established the first electric vehicle charging point in Lithuania

Company CEO dr. Vytautas Jokužis and his colleague Vladas Lašas pays a lot of attention to ideas of young scientists, implementation and promotion of entrepreneurship. They inspire young people to create new technologies, innovative ideas.

Now Elinta has grown to company that has about 80 employees, always active in taking part in different innovative projects, collaborates with universities, always open to the society.

Dr. Vytatuas Jokužis and Dr. Vladas Lašas with one of the company’s new intelligent products, a three-dimensional scanner (3D) for production of orthopaedic and regular shoes

Category : Business, economy, investments


Have your say. Send to:

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?

* * *

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.

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Christmas greetings
from Vilnius

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

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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

* * *
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.

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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

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.

* * *

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.

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Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >

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