Vilnius, Lithuania (Mantas Volungevicius, CC BY)
In the post-Brexit context, Lithaunian MEP Antanas Guoga has launched a campaign seeking to position Vilnius (Lithuania) as an alternative location for UK businesses now looking into the possibility of relocation options.
This time, the focus of his attention is the automotive industry, which is anticipated to be one of the sectors most severely impacted by the UK’s vote to leave the EU. With a record 1.5 million cars being produced in the UK in 2015, the majority of which (57.7 per cent) were exported to the EU, the industry has much to lose if it fails to make the correct strategic decisions in light of Britain’s momentous Brexit decision.
This is where, Guoga believes, Lithuania is perfectly positioned to step in. As he states in his recent letter to the top heads of the automotive industry, „Today, amongst other things, you must be thinking about where to relocate your EU operations so that you will be able to access the European single market without restrictions. As a Member of the European Parliament and also the Chief Investment Officer of the City of Vilnius, I would like to invite you to explore Lithuania.”
Lithuania is ranked 4th worldwide as a „high growth location” for investment in manufacturing and is home to an expanding number of major international automotive companies such as Schmitz Cargobull, CIE Automotive, Yazaki, and AQ Wiring Systems.
Currently ranked as 1st in CEE and 27th globally for university industry collaboration in R&D by the World Economic Forum, Lithuania can help relocating companies grow the talent they need to see their businesses prosper.
Finally, it’s all about the location. Positioned in the heart of Europe, bordering both Central Europe and the CIS, and within quick reach of Scandinavia and Western Europe, Lithuania provides effective access to approximately 750 million customers. „Our combination of deep technical expertise, commitment to quality and convenient logistic positioning for access to Scandinavia, the CIS and Western Europe makes Lithuania the perfect location for automotive manufacturers,” Guoga says.
Kaunas, Lithuania’s second biggest city has also joined the campaign. „The key factor determining why most of automotive industry investments are concentrated in Kaunas region is our technological university, allowing us to guarantee the long-term provision of a skilled and affordable workforce. With the combination of our Free Economic Zone providing tax incentives, excellent logistics and qualified employees, Kaunas is an excellent location for boosting the international automotive business,” Povilas Mačiulis, vice-mayor of Kaunas, said.
For an industry facing uncertainty in the coming months as regards what exactly lies ahead once article 50 for leaving the EU has been triggered, Mr. Guoga believes Vilnius, and Lithuania, offer a safe, reliable, and most importantly, prosperous new home.