After phase one of its expansion Litexpo, a Lithuanian conference center, becomes the leader in the Baltic market. A new multi-functional pavilion was built. The new pavilion is connected to the fourth exhibition pavilion with improved infrastructure, parking, and a new visitor pass control system. 8 million litas (2.3 million euro) of the 28 million litas total were provided by the EU, the rest of the funds were provided by Litexpo. The total area of the new pavilion is 9600 square meters. Stage two will build a fifth pavilion with a 200-seat high-class restaurant, a 264-seat conference hall, and a multi-story parking lot for 700 cars. Last year Litexpo's conference participant rate rose by 20.96 percent, to more than 662,000 people.
Lars G. Nordstrom, CEO of Nordea Bank, said Nordic banks are too small on a European scale and that consolidation is inevitable. "In Sweden the current misconception is that 'small is beautiful'. That is not so, 'small' is in this context just small," Nordstrom told the Naringsliv supplement of the Svenska Dagbladet daily. Without naming the three large Swedish banks Swedbank, SEB and Svenska Handelsbank, the banker said he couldn't imagine how large banks of the Nordic countries can afford not to grow. As he sees it, Nordic banks have in principle only one way to grow, and that is either to acquire or merge with a bank in some other region. Nordstrom does not believe that expansion outside the region is the answer. "Better results can be achieved by making an effort on existing markets," he said.