Using COVID-19 as an opportunity for economic growth


2020 05 29

Vilius Šapoka_ – kopija.JPG

When talking about Lithuania’s economy in general, I would like to stress that in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, if we look back over the last ten years Lithuania is the fastest-growing country in the whole Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development region. I am very proud of this and, of course, this incredible achievement is embedded in fiscal discipline. Prior to the coronavirus crisis we had no macroeconomic imbalances. Last year, our economy grew by almost 4 percent, double the average of the European Union (EU). Our fiscal position was in very good shape. For a few years in a row, we had a surplus in our public finances and our debt ratio is one of the lowest in the EU at less than 40 percent of GDP. This allows us to now use that fiscal space in order to stimulate our economy.

Full commitment to fiscal discipline is the background for growth. It is important to note that we are very open to any kind of business opportunities and we are very business friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business rating, we are the 11th easiest place to do business in the world—we will not stop there and I hope that in the near future we will be among the top ten. In some specific areas, Lithuania is a leading country—for example, in fintech, the laser industry and in some niche areas of biotechnology. In high value-added businesses, it is really a good place to grow. I think that the main indicators speak for themselves—Lithuania is one of the fastest-growing economies on a permanent basis and it is very sustainable, with great opportunities for investors and businesses.

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