The opportunities for doing business in Vilnius, “the Baltic Tiger”, are very good and the future prospects even better. Vilnius is the economic hub of Lithuania and generates almost one-third of the country’s GDP. Lithuania has had a stable growth for five years and all prognoses show the same three years ahead. The labour cost is one of the lowest in the EU.
Export grew in 2005 about 25% and import about 23%.
The fact that Vilnius achieved the title European Capital of Culture in 2009 has placed the city on the map in more than one way. As a consequence of the appointment the expansion of cultural and leisure infrastructure are about to reach investments of € 0.5 billion. Among the projects to be built are a big international conference centre. All together these facts makes Vilnius a very interesting city to start a business in.
When approaching a meeting it’s common to welcome with a handshake. Initially address your business partner with his or her honorific title and surname. Wait until invited before moving to a first name basis.
The first contact should be with a high-ranking person who’s in a position to make decisions; this is mainly because the culture is still in many ways hierarchical so showing respect and regards to people of authority is recommended. Thus take notice to whom you addressing i.e. for more junior members of a team it’s not polite to address senior-ranking businesspersons directly, as this is seen as a violation of business-etiquette.
Because of the good business climate and the opportunities to doing business in Lithuania several companies have invested major sums here. Among the main foreign investors/companies to be mentioned are TeliaSonera (Telecommunications) € 590 mill, SEB (Banking) € 250 mill, and TDC (Telecommunications) € 151 mill.