Business trip to Vilnius, Lithuania.
From a business point of view Lithuania has more than surprised the world with its strength and rapid growth in all the areas of business. As one of the newest members in the European Union Lithuania and especially Vilnius is the perfect starting point for doing business in the Baltic Countries.
Vilnius is the economic hub of Lithuania and generates almost one-third of the country’s GDP. Lithuania has had a stable growth for five years and all forecasts show a slow grow ahead, despite of the financial crisis. The labour cost is one of the lowest in the EU. Export grew in 2005 about 25% and import about 23%.
The fact that Vilnius achieved the title European Capital of Culture in the year 2009 has placed the city on the map in more than one way.
As a consequence of this appointment the expansion of the cultural and leisure infrastructure will reach investments of € 0,5 billion. Among the projects to be built are a big international conference centre. All together these facts makes Vilnius a very interesting city to start a business in.
Because of the good business climate and the opportunities to doing business in Lithuania several companies have invested major sums here. Among the main foreign investors and companies to be mentioned are TeliaSonera (Telecommunications) € 590 mill, SEB (Banking) € 250 mill, and TDC (Telecommunications) € 151 mill.
For more in-depth information I suggest you buy and read the "Global Business Etiquettes" book.
Use formal names, professional and academic titles.
Hierarchy is important in Lithuanian business.
Lithuanians are not very direct, they prefer subtlety to directness.
Never interrupt somebody. Do not speak with a loud voice and never brag about yourself or your company.
Dress formal and conservative.
- Meetings and negotiations:
When making appointments use the 24-hour clock time format to avoid misunderstandings.
Be very punctual, if you suspect you will late, call and explain the situation.
Never cancel a meeting at the last minute.
Shake hands with everyone upon arriving at the meeting and leaving. Remember the hierarchy.
Remain standing until invited to sit down or others do so.
Some time is spent to getting to know you before the business conversation begins.
Agenda’s are not strictly followed and a meeting can take much longer then planned. Every issue on the agenda will be discussed in detail.
First appointments could be more socially oriented, Lithuanians would like to know you a bit better at first.
Keep your presentation as short as possible, to the point, accurate and precise, do not exaggerate.
Lithuanians are usually not pressed for time. They use time to their advantage.
Follow up a meeting with a letter or email with all agreements outlined.
- Table manners:
If unsure on how to behave, mimic the behavior of others.
Wait until you are appointed a seat.
Avoid alcohol if possible, otherwise drink little.
Return the toast of your host later during the meal.
Keep your napkin on the table, eat not too much but finish your plate seconds are expected.
Keep your hands above the table when eating.
After finishing your plate lay your knife and fork parallel on your plate with the handles to the right.
Thank your host at the end of the meal.
With a population of 3,5 million, Lithuania is a relatively small, but potentially attractive market for foreign goods and services. Its geographic location, proximity to the EU and NIS markets, excellent infrastructure, very competitive living and operating costs, availability of high-skilled workforce is a good place for the foreign producers, suppliers in their effort to expand into global markets.
In 2004 Lithuania joined the EU and NATO. Lithuania’s strong commitment and effort to join the EU and NATO won broad recognition worldwide and helped the country improve its legal, tax and customs systemsa. All of which helped with development of the economy and commercial sector. Today Lithuania represents an open and rapidly growing economy. Gross Domestic Product rose by 9% in 2006 and is projected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years. The government has given priority to financial discipline, currency stability and other business friendly policies.
Lithuania’s private sector deserves substantial credit for its contribution to the country’s economic performance. Since Lithuania’s independence in 1992, Lithuanian business has shown remarkable enterpreneurship, initiative and the ability to adopt Western business practices and compete in Western markets.
European Union funds usage
Approximately one-third of the EU budget is spent for developing environmental, transport, tourism, medical, and IT infrastructure in less developed areas of the 27 member states. Lithuania is expected to receive several billion dollars from the EU in Structural, Cohesion and other funds for implementation of a variety of infrastructure projects. This will offer major opportunities for foreign firms in coming years as third country participation in the projects is welcome.
|Currency||Lithuanian litas (LTL)|
|Time zone||GMT +2|
|GDP||€ 39,23 billion|
|GDP per capita||€ 11.678|
Rodūnios kelias 10A
Telephone +370 5 273 9305, +370 5 230 6666
IATA airport code: VON
ICAO airport code: EYVI
In case your baggage hasn’t arrived with you, please, contact one of the companies below, which provide a baggage search service at Vilnius Airport:
Tel. +370 5 210 53344
E - mail: email@example.com
Baltic Ground Services
Tel. +370 5 252 5005
Fax (+370) 5 252 5007
Mob. (+370) 674 698 33
E - mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Connectivity from the airport
Regular public buses 1 (to the city’s bus and train station) and 2 (to the city centre) depart frequently. A wide range of shuttle minibuses are also available.
Metered taxis are available outside the terminal. Passengers should ensure the meter is switched on or agree a fare in advance.
Keep the following tips in mind if you need to order a taxi during your business trip to Vilnius.
As cab drivers go, the ones in Vilnius are pretty civilized but not always models of honesty and good manners. Be sure the taxi meter is working and make sure you’re not charged the night rate during the day. Many taxi drivers drive like bats out of hell, so a seat belt, if you can dig one out of the back seat, is advisable. Rates are significantly higher if you pick one up in the street, but even at these inflated prices taxis are, relatively at least, cheap.
|Company name||Phone number||Specifics|
|Ekipazas||tel. 1446||English-speaking operators, cheapest rates, reliable|
|Kabrioletas||tel. 1445||People movers for large groups|
|Martonas||tel. 1422||Well-kept cars, good rates|
Slick fine dining with a lot of thought put into both the cooking and the immaculate presentation; the food here tastes as good as it looks.
Vokiečių 22, Vilnius
Tel.: +3705 2620257
A favorite of visiting businessmen and politicians, this classy and decadent eatery is located within one of the city’s finest luxury hotels. If you are on a business trip to Vilnius, this is a great restaurant for entertaining your hosts.
Gaono str. 7, 01131 Vilnius
Tel: +370 5 2649580
Trattoria Da Antonio Vilnius
This trattoria is a favorite with tourists. Centrally located, it offers a welcoming atmosphere and serves excellent Italian food at reasonable prices.
Pilies str. 20, Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel: +370 615 48191
Tips to save money on hotel costs during your business trip to Vilnius.
To get the best price for a good hotel room during your business trip to Vilnius it's not only important to compare the prices the hotel charges for a room, but also compare the prices of the different booking agencies.
This can save you, or your company, a lot of money!
- Go to this hotel listing for Vilnius.
- Select the "Check-in" and "Check-out" date.
- Select filters like: "Hotel brand", "Ratings", "Location" and "Price ranges".
- Select the hotel you like.
- You will get an overview of the prices from up to 24 booking sites
- Select the best offer in the list and book the room!
We have selected the following established business hotels for your convenience:
The Holiday Inn Vilnius hotel, one of the newest and biggest hotel in Vilnius is located in the centre of the city, on the right bank of the river Neris, just a 10 minutes walk to the old town. This historical heart of Vilnius can be seen from your room window!
Seimznisku 1, 2600 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel Front Desk: 370 5 2103000
More info about Holiday Inn Vilnius
Mabre Residence Hotel
Mabre Residence Hotel is situated in the heart of Vilnius Old Town and only a few minutes walk to the city center which is very convenient during a busy business trip. Located in a former monastery, our comfortable rooms are centered around a beautiful courtyard.
Maironio str. 13, Vilnius
Tel: +370 5 2122087
More info about Mabre Residence Hotel
Boutique Grotthuss hotel is located on an idyllic cobble-stone street in the heart of Vilnius’ Old Town secured by UNESCO.
Ligoninės str. 7, LT-01134, Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel: +370 5 2660322
More info about Grotthus Hotel Vilnius
Vilnius recently became a shopper’s paradise with a number of American style shopping centres opening across the city.
The most popular of these is Akropolis (a chain of malls across Lithuania) that has over 90 stores.
Household names like Benetton and even BHS can be found on Vilnius’ largest shopping street, Gedimino Avenue. Home-grown stores like Nijole with its sumptuous furs (according to the locals) and Mados Linija ‘fashion line’ are located here too. The best bookshops in Vilnius, including a few selling English-language paperbacks, are also on Gedimino, Vaga and Draugyste at number.
Gift, souvenir and antique shops are to be found throughout the Old Town. The Old Town is a perfect place to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones when your return from a business trip to Vilnius. For high-class antiques dating back a century or two, try Galerija Maldis (Basanaviciaus Street) or Senasis Kuparas (Domininkonu Street). Next door to Kuparas is a tiny shop selling wonderfully bizarre objects fashioned from coloured glass. Alongside the street market on Pilies Street there are shops selling handi-crafts, including the eclectic Sauluva (Sv Mykolo Street) which sells quirky ceramics and wacky miscellania like framed cockroaches! The best hand-made amber gifts are sold by Amber (9 Ausros Vartu Street) Amber Gallery (Sv Mykolo Street) and Juva (Ausros Vartu Street).
When you have any time left during your business trip to see something of this beautiful city I would recommend to visit one of the following sights:
The old town
If you have only a short time for sightseeing during your business trip to Vilnius, visit the old town.Many churches and ancient buildings were build in 13th-19th centuries. Much of the Old Town used to be Jewish ghetto. Today street names like Zydu (Jewish) and Gaono (Gaon’s) reminds of this period, with the sad knowledge that Jewish community of Vilnius perished during the Holocaust. The Old Town - the largest town in eastern Europe, stretches south from Cathedral Square. A church spire can be seen from every one of its winding streets, there are aslo countless hidden courtyards to explore. In the Old Town you will find Vilnius University, The President’s palace, The old Jewish quarter and ghetto, Television Tower - called Televizijos Bokstas, Arkikatedra Bazilika Cathedral, St Casimir’s Church, and St’s Peter & Paul’s Church.
The Cathedral Square
In Vilnius is the main square of the city’s downtown, right in front of the neo-classical Vilnius Cathedral. It is a central point in city’s public life, situated as it is at the crossing of the city’s main streets and reflecting the city’s diversity. Often held at this site are fairs and gatherings of townspeople, military parades, religious and official public events, attractions and large concerts, New Year’s salutes and exhibitions. It is not only the most lively and important location in the city, but is also one of the most significant and widely-known symbols of Lithuania.The Cathedral of Vilnius (Vilniaus Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo arkikatedra bazilika) is the most important Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. It is situated in Vilnius’ Old Town, just off of Cathedral Square. It is the heart of Lithuania’s Catholic spiritual life.
The Presidential Palace (Prezidentūra)
Located in Vilnius Old Town, it is the official residence of the President of Lithuania. The palace dates back to the 14th century and during its history it has undergone numerous reconstructions, supervised by prominent architects, including Laurynas Gucevičius and Vasily Stasov. In 1997 the palace became the official seat of the President of Lithuania.
This sight is the only remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius, Lithuania.The first fortifications were built of wood by Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. Some remnants of the old castle have been restored, guided by archeological research. It is possible to climb to the top of the hill by foot or by taking a funicular. The tower houses an exposition of archeologic findings from the hill and the surrounding areas. It is also an excellent vantage point, from where the panorama of Vilnius’ Old Town can be admired.
St. Anne’s Church (Šv. Onos bažnyčia)
St. Anne’s Church is an impressive Roman Catholic church in Vilnius’ Old Town, on the right bank of the Vilnia River. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles. St. Anne’s is among the features of Vilnius Old Town that enabled the district to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The original (wooden) cathedral was built in 1251. In 1387 a Gothic style cathedral was built on its site. Now it is a classical style cathedral build by the project of Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevicius. The most beautiful part of the Cathedral, the baroque chapel of St. Casimir, was built in 1623–1636. The crypt shows a cross section of Vilnius through the ages, well worth seeing. You can also take a tour through the catacombs under the cathedral. Outside the Cathedral, in the square, look for a particular tile on which there is written a word "Stebuklas" (means "miracle" in Lithuanian). Stand on it, make a wish and turn around three times. Your wish should come true :)
Make sure your health care insurance is sufficiently covered.
Maybe this is already covered in your regular health care insurance but often you will need to cover this with the travel insurance. Also a good travel insurance should cover the costs of travel for a relative in case of seriously illness or an accident.
The business trip travel insurance should also cover the costs of search, rescue and repatriation.
When you go on business trips on a regular basis, the easiest way to get insured is with an annual multi-trip insurance.
Keep in mind that you can also use this insurance for your pleasure trips so don`t forget to include to insure your leisure activities.
|General emergency number||112|
|Police||02 / 102 / 022|
|Ambulance||03 / 103 / 033|
|Fire||01 / 101 / 011|
The non-112 numbers are for separate emergency services differ in distinct telecommunications networks, whereas 112 is available on all networks.
In case of urgent medical help you can turn to the Baltic-American Medical and Surgical Clinic: Antakalnio 124, within the Vilnius University Antakalnio Hospital.
A friendly and attentive private Lithuanian-American clinic offers care for both children and adults; they do major and minor emergency care, as well as general, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Most resident foreigners, including diplomats, come here. This is the only hospital in Lithuania certified by all major insurance companies. It is run by highly qualified American doctors.
Although in business most people speak some English, some Lithuanian phrases can always come in hand....
Spread the word!