President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuanian needs active not cabinet diplomacy

2016-07-20

Wednesday, July 20, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in the annual meeting with Lithuanian ambassadors to discuss the key objectives of diplomatic work in foreign countries.

According to the President, diplomats have to be close to the people of Lithuania, to hear and understand their problems and expectations, as well as to protect national interests in all areas. Lithuanian ambassadors must leave their cabinet rooms, the President said, and maintain active contacts with foreign politicians, the public, businesses, and members of the media to introduce the opportunities offered by Lithuania and to address matters of importance for our state.

As the world faces continuing political and military unrest and the rise of new threats of terrorism, all Lithuanian nationals who happen to be abroad during a crisis situation must receive high-quality, swift and timely diplomatic assistance. Greater attention to our citizens must become an integral part of embassy work.

The President underlined that a speedy implementation of the decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw was crucial for ensuring national security. Special focus should be placed on the protection of Lithuania’s interests in the process of forging future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, on the migration crisis and threats posed by Russia, on support to Ukraine’s, Georgia’s and Moldova’s euro-integration, as well as on international nuclear safety standards in EU neighborhood. Maintaining strong relations with the Baltic and Nordic countries, the United States, and Germany is also on top of Lithuania’s foreign policy agenda.

The President pointed out that effective economic policy was gaining ground against the background of global economic challenges and growing global competition. In order to help Lithuanian businesses to establish themselves in priority export and tourism markets as well as to attract foreign investment, the diplomatic corps must work as a team for the benefit of Lithuania, not in the interest of individual ministries which delegated them. Diplomatic performance must be measured in terms of the added value generated for Lithuania’s economy.

Even though Lithuania’s position is going up on the global indexes of doing business and economic freedom, its innovation performance is below the EU average. Therefore, diplomats have a prime objective of helping advanced foreign businesses to discover Lithuania. For this purpose, it is necessary to continue streamlined work with foreign investors and close collaboration with Lithuania-based innovation and investment development agencies. Lithuania has been ranked 20th by the Ease of Doing Business report and has moved up to 20th position in the Index of Economic Freedom where it is now ahead of such countries like Germany and Japan.

The President called on diplomats to actively engage all Lithuanians around the world and friends of Lithuania in the events celebrating the centennial of the restoration of Lithuanian statehood

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.07.20 12:12

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