Using COVID-19 as an opportunity for economic growth Interview with Vilius Šapoka, Minister of Finance of Lithuania
Lithuania marches forward A progressive economy that has embraced digitization now looks to the future with hope and optimism Newsweek:
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Regional integration drives key infrastructure projects The Baltic countries are united in their fight against covid-19, but also to foster stronger infrastructure, both in transport and energy. READ MORE Targeted and effective measures As a nation, committed, resilient and responsible, Lithuania has risen to the occasion and is now determined to reactivate its economy Digitization, life sciences and reoriented industry provide new economic DNA for Lithuania As the EU's leading Fintech hub, Lithuania is leveraging its talent and infrastructure to tap a diverse range of tech-driven and climate-friendly industries. Opening of regional borders kickstarts tourism The "Baltic Travel Bubble" is one of Europe's first forays into reigniiting tourism at the regional level, helping one of the hardest hit industries get back on its feet

Lithuania changes the DNA of its economy to flourish in a post-COVID world

Having quickly flattened the coronavirus curve, the Baltic nation is now focused on rebooting its dynamic economy with equal speed

On 15 May, freedom of movement was restored between Lithuania and its neighbors Estonia and Latvia after two months of restrictions due to the global coronavirus crisis. “We can be proud that we, the three Baltic states, have successfully managed the first wave of COVID-19 and are the first in the European Union (EU) to open our borders to each other’s citizens,’ said Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

Having led the country that sits at the crossroads of Eastern, Central and Northern Europe since 2016, Skvernelis’ government has received international praise for their handling of the pandemic. Lithuania registered its first case of COVID-19 at the end of February and, by 20 May, the republic had recorded only 1,577 coronavirus cases, with 60 people losing their lives. That equates to just 22 deaths per million of Lithuania’s 3-million strong population, in comparison with the U.S., for example, which had suffered 283 fatalities per million.

“The year-and-a-half plan, which complements our short-term measures, should help us recover and realize the potential that has emerged in this crisis; the potential is clearly visible and opportunities are great”

Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of Lithuania


A €6.3-billion investment program will start in July

As early as March, the government introduced short-term financial measures to support the economy, businesses and citizens. In May, this was followed by an ambitious long-term investment plan—The DNA of the Future Economy—designed to ensure Lithuania continues to outpace other countries. According to Šapoka: “We plan to invest a total of €6.3 billion in the next year and a half, starting from 1 July. One invested euro of this will bring a return of almost €2.” The plan, financed through the national budget and EU funds, aims to cultivate an innovative, high value-added economic transformation that is adapted to the post-coronavirus global environment.

Human capital at the core of new economic DNA

The government’s strategy focuses on developing human capital to meet the new economy’s needs, further digitalization of the economy and businesses, innovation and research, economic infrastructure, climate change and energy, with attracting new investments also being a key component. This should not be a problem for a country that has seen record investment levels in recent years, with inflows reaching €61.3 billion in 2018, and which the World Bank rates as the 11theasiest place to do business worldwide.