VILNIUS - Danspin, one of the leading yarn spinning mills in Europe, has announced its intention to invest 11.6 million euros into the increased development of its yarn spinning factory in Raseiniai. The investment will create 200 new jobs in the area and will also lead to the establishment of a research and development center.
According to the Ministry of Economy, up to 1.5 million euros has been allocated from EU structural support funds to aid the project’s implementation. This significant investment is no doubt an injection of life into Lithuania’s ailing manufacturing industry, which took a significant toll during 2008-2009 and full recovery is yet to be seen.
In a recent press release, Rimantas Zylius, the Lithuanian Economy Minister, said that he hoped that this investment would be the first of many to come. “Investment attraction to Lithuania is among the government’s priorities. We are especially delighted that investments come to our region; the Danish company has decided not only to create several hundred new jobs in Raseiniai but also establish an R&D center to develop new technologies.”
This operation is no doubt a testament to Lithuania’s ability to market itself as a country with a highly skilled, yet cost effective, labor force and a location to be reckoned with. Significant investment has also recently been seen in Vilnius by companies such as Barclays and Western Union. “Investors come to the Baltics to invest in air transportation (25 percent), financial services (12 percent) and utilities (10 percent),” states Ernst & Young in a recent report. A foreign venture into the yarn spinning industry will no doubt also create increased competitiveness in the local market, a knock-on effect that is beneficial in nearly any situation.
The investment into Raseiniai is also an admirable feat, given the view of countries such as the UK concerning Lithuania’s domestic policy. The UKs’ Charge D’Affaires, Stephen Conlon, was recently quoted as saying “it is also essential to ensure that the location of such new business should be spread across the country, thus also spreading out the collective wealth.” Such investment will also bring a significant increase in the area’s infrastructure, no doubt paving the local area towards continued imported ventures in the future.
Overall, the project is yet another reflection into Lithuania’s increasing economic recovery, so much so, in fact, that it was surpassed only by Estonia in Q1 as the fastest growing economy in the EU (Lithuania 6.9 percent, Estonia 8 percent). The Baltics are no doubt once again rising to a prominent position in the CEE/Nordics region as a serious investment contender in many fields.