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Ūkio ministro kalba verslo forume Gruzijoje

Data

2014 03 31

Įvertinimas
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Honourable
Vice Prime Minister Mr. George Kvirikashvili,
Vice Prime Minister Mr. Kakha Kaladze,
State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mr. Alex Petriashvili,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman,

 I am delighted to be one of the speakers to open this event and I would like  to thank the organizers for the opportunity to speak today on a significant issue – Economic integration within the EU and the opportunities that come along with it.

 Just 24 years ago our country gained a possibility to change the course from a command economy to a free market. We are especially proud to say that during these years we have achieved a lot. Today Lithuania is 21st freest economy in the World. We are also showing the 17th result according to the ease of doing business. Lithuania is also the second most attractive country for foreign investors in Europe and 16th in the world, according to the latest Baseline Profitability Index.

 One of the most significant achievements of Lithuania  EU integration in 2004 has brought substantial advantages to our economy and citizens. EU membership created opportunities in a wide variety of spheres from cultural and social to economic one. In the economic sphere, the EU contributed by stimulating the provision of new technologies, innovation, improved goods and services in the Single Market.
 In 2012 and 2013 Lithuanian economy was one of the most rapidly growing economies in the EU. Lithuanian GDP grew about 3,3 percent in 2013 and  is expected to grow at similar pace this year. Exports became the main driver of economic growth of Lithuania. As you all would probably agree, the diversification of exports is a crucial part of the process of development and structural change  is particularly important for small countries like ours.  
     
 Closer economic integration within EU  allowed Lithuania to reach higher levels of export diversification by product and by markets, higher standarts and increased competitiveness that helped Lithuania to cope better with  the shocks in the global markets which are highly influenced by the shifting political situations as we are witnessing today.

 Achieving high standards of products and services, increasing competitiveness  enhanced our country’s attractiveness as a place to invest and do business. Lithuania values and promotes foreign investors and multinational enterprises operating in our country who significantly contribute to the achievement of the growth of our economy. Resource transfer, in terms of capital, technological, business and cultural knowledge, is a key motivator to encourage FDI.

 I am glad that Georgia  made decisions to choose the European direction as well and responded positively to the EU invitation to develop deeper political and economic relations. Last year, during the third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Georgia initialled EU Association Agreement with Free Trade Agreement provisions. This is one more step towards deepening economic relationship between EU  and Georgia and Lithuania as well. I have no doubt that this will bring benefits to all sides.

 In today's volatile global environment, it is impossible to take any decisions related to the countries’ economic development without considering the overall dynamics of global changes. Our government’s work is to deepen ties and to help business explore the exciting opportunities in foreign countries. I believe that this Business Forum opens up a possibility for expansion of commercial relations between our countries. I strongly encourage participants of this forum to utilize this opportunity to network and to explore partnership opportunities.

 Both the political dialogue and the business content of this business forum are examples of the dynamic nature of the relationships between Lithuania and Georgia.  I believe that our countries have a great potential for closer cooperation in many fields. I do hope that our bilateral communication and combined efforts will contribute to our successful cooperation and growth of our economies.

 I would like to wish you all success in your business endeavours. Thank you for your attention.