Free Economic Zones Are Providing a Strong Impetus to Regional Economies
The problem of the gap between cities and regions of Lithuania is not new. Politicians include the regions’ revival plans into their electoral campaign programmes, listen to people’s concerns and finally recognise that there is no panacea for the resolution of the issues.
Success stories, however, are not rare in those regions where self-government bodies have taken the initiative to independently invest in the improvement of infrastructure and to establish a dialogue with businesses. The proactiveness of companies managing the free economic zones (FEZ) and the public-private partnership are beginning to yield results: major investors are discovering Lithuania, factories, warehouses and office buildings are appearing in greenfield territories, and thousands of new jobs are created.
FEZ operators help fuel the national economy
According to LAFEZ, an association uniting six FEZ management companies, the enterprises established in the greenfield territories are focussed on foreign markets as they export approx. 75% of their products, and their income has reached approx. EUR 1.5 euros during one year. This means that the FEZ dynamics adds pace to the development of the national economy.
According to Invest Lithuania, an investment promotion agency, a hundred foreign investments were attracted to Lithuania in 2010-2017. Over one half of them are investments in industrial production: cars, metal industry and electronics.
In the opinion of Simonas Petrulis, LAFEZ President, the increasing volumes of investments in the FEZs show that the efforts to promote the public-private partnership model in Lithuania work well: local businesses commit themselves to deliver specific benefits for the State, undertake long-term investment, attract known foreign companies to the regions, attain the set objectives and win.