President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Major German investment: incentive for developing innovative economy

2018-07-20

Friday, July 20, Sergeičikų I Village, Kaunas District President Dalia Grybauskaitė gave the go-ahead for the construction of German Continental’s new manufacturing plant in the Kaunas Free Economic Zone. Automotive components, including gearbox systems, door and seat control units and units for intelligent glass control, are scheduled to roll of the production line next year. It is the largest investment project in Lithuania in recent years. Continental will be investing 95 million euros over the next five years and will create around 1,000 new jobs.

According to the President, the arrival of a leading automotive manufacturing company demonstrates Lithuania’s qualitative leap towards attracting foreign investment. We have transformed from a cheap-labor country to a center of qualified knowledge, innovation, modern manufacturing and technologies. German industrial giant Continental’s decision to invest in Lithuania means international acknowledgment. It also sends a message to foreign investors that we are a safe and attractive country for business.

Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that this greenfield investment reflects increasingly expanding contacts between Lithuania and Germany. Germany is not only a strategic partner that leads the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania, but also a major foreign investor. It is the third largest direct foreign investor and the most important market for Lithuanian exports. Germany has invested a total of 1.14 billion euros in Lithuania.

Continental’s manufacturing facility in Lithuania will have a distinctive edge. It will incorporate state-of-the-art technologies, drones, virtual reality glasses, and other innovations. The investment project is a major impetus for the development of automotive component industry in Lithuania, making full use of the local engineering potential. Continental generates around 44 billion euros in annual revenue – which exceeds Lithuania’s GDP.

According to the President, Lithuania’s future lies in investments that promote progress and create well-paid jobs. Lithuania together with Singapore and Ireland have emerged today as global leaders in attracting high added value investment. Last year, Lithuania pulled in 60 investment projects, including the world's leading e-commerce company Booking.com and the medical devices and equipment manufacturer Hollister. These investments will create almost nine thousand new jobs.

To continue moving forward on this path, Lithuania needs to restructure its education system and ensure the professional training of specialists that modern economy requires. The President herself initiated legal amendments to launch the reform of vocation education. Since February, fundamental changes are being introduced into vocational education and training. The network of vocation schools will be developed strictly in line with municipal and economic needs. The reform will be completed by the end of this year.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.08.06 11:09

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