VILNIUS – The state must help business to find alternative markets, diversify exports and promote investments to make use of the Lithuanian economy's full potential and competitiveness, President Gitanas Nauseda says.
"I cannot see rapid economic growth without smart economic diplomacy and state level efforts to open new markets for our businesses," Nauseda said on Thursday, delivering his 3rd State of the Nation Address.
He also pointed out that some Lithuanian businesses had suffered from China’s stormy reaction to the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius, and criticized the government for its failure to prepare for retaliatory action.
"This decision was made on the assumption that China’s response would be limited to restricting export and import operations and would not affect third-country business in Lithuania. It turned out to be overly optimistic. Still worse, no countermeasures were prepared. Businesses were not notified in time," the president said.
"I would like to remind you that until recently Lithuanian businesses were encouraged to develop cooperation contacts with Chinese companies. But those who had suffered losses were told to be patient. And, in between the lines, to keep quiet. The state must help businesses to open the door to alternative markets, to diversify exports and investments. The principle of 'the wood is cut - the chips fly' is not only short-sighted but also morally irresponsible," Nauseda underlined.
In his words, the success stories in biotechnology, information technologies, lasers, and other sectors are encouraging. Traditional economic sectors are not less competitive. Moreover, the 2.2 billion euro funding from the EU’s Economic Recovery Fund, which has been extensively negotiated at the European level, opens new horizons for Lithuania.