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VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government's decision to expand the list of professions subject to simplified procedures for employing foreigners would help boost the country's competitiveness, the director of the IT association Infobalt said.
The government approved on Wednesday the Economy Ministry's proposal to increase to 49, from 27, the list of professions for which there are not enough local workers. Nine of the 22 new professions proposed for the list are related to the information and communication technology business.
"We are becoming more pragmatic about bringing in specialists that we lack in Lithuania, which is a very positive thing," Infobalt Director Paulius Vertelka told BNS.
The Lithuanian market will additionally need almost 13,500 IT professionals in the next three years. That need cannot be met locally and foreigners will have to be brought in, he said.
Vertelka added that expanding the list would simplify bureaucratic procedures.
Daina Klepone, managing director at Enterprise Lithuania, the government's business development promotion agency, said that the decision would contribute to the emergence of start-ups.
"This is a great decision, because we are trying to attract startups to Lithuania, and startups that we want to attract from foreign countries usually need some specific competencies, which are not on the list," she said.
Klepone said that the list of countries specialists could be invited from is very broad.
"Speaking about the IT profession, (...) if a specialist is fluent in English, he can be from any country -- Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Turkey and others," she said.