Global Chamber® was pleased to host Rolandas Kriščiūnas, Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States this week for a discussion of business opportunities. Thank you to member Joanna Moore of Aerospace & Defense Forum for arranging the meeting.
We were pleased to learn more about Lithuania, the capital of Vilnius and the business opportunities for companies doing business there. Watch for Global Chamber® Vilnius in the coming months!
Lithuania is known for having the fastest public wi-fi in Europe, with the highest percentage of fiber connected to homes.
There are built in advantages to base your firm in Lithuania to reach Europe and East Asia, including high functionality of logistics and strong international language capabilities by the local population. The cost of labor is one fourth or less of setting up in London.
Lithuania is also known as a high quality food producer to Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other countries. Other strong capabilities include high tech textiles and biotech. The country has extremely strong capabilities in industrial lasers, optics and blood testing (via laser).
And there is a saying in Lithuania... "The best food is soup. And the best soup is beer." They make many great beers, and wine, too!
Ambassador Kriščiūnas shared that the people of Lithuania have a particular affection for the late Senator John McCain. Concurrent to our meeting in the U.S., in Lithuania Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius opened the United States Senator John McCain's Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. "We remember the U.S. Senator J. McCain as a friend of Lithuania, who supported us in tough times." Read more.
About Ambassador Rolandas Kriščiūnas
Kriščiūnas was born Oct. 16, 1970, in Panevėžys, Lithuania. He attended college at Vytautas Didysis University in Kaunas, Lithuania, earning a bachelor’s degree in business informatics in 1993.
Kriščiūnas joined his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shortly thereafter and was a third secretary in the Economic Department’s Economic Analysis Division. The following year, he took time out to go to the United States and study economics at Ohio University. He graduated with a master’s degree from there in 1996. He also completed European Union studies at the Clingendael Institute of International Relations at The Hague, The Netherlands. He then returned to the Economic Analysis Division as a first secretary.
His first Washington assignment came in 1998, when he was stationed at his country’s embassy as a first secretary. Kriščiūnas returned to Lithuania in 2001, but this time to the Finance Ministry, where he was the director of the European Union Program Management Department.
In 2004, he was named an undersecretary of finance. In 2008, toward the end of his tenure at that post, he completed a management studies program at The Swedish Institute in Stockholm. The following year he was named vice minister at the Finance Ministry.
He returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 as a vice minister, and remained in that job until being posted to Washington.
Kriščiūnas is married; he and his wife Živilė Kriščiūnienė have a son, Julius Herkus. Kriščiūnas speaks Lithuanian, Russian, English and French.
Lithuania is a member of the European Union and the largest economy among the three Baltic states. GDP per capita in Lithuania is highest in the Baltic states. Lithuania belongs to the group of very high human development countries and is a member of WTO an OECD. Lithuania was the first country to declare independence from Soviet Union in 1990 and rapidly moved from centrally planned to a market economy, implementing numerous liberal reforms. It enjoyed high growth rates after joining the European Union along with the other Baltic states, leading to the notion of a Baltic Tiger. Lithuania’s economy (GDP) grew more than 500 percent since regaining the independence in 1990.
Lithuania has a sound fiscal position. The 2017 budget resulted in a 0.5% surplus, the gross debt is stabilising at around 40% of GDP. The budget remained positive in 2017 and is expected so in 2018.
Lithuania is ranked 14th in the world by the World Bank on Ease of Doing Business. Read more.