Virginijus Sinkevičius: ‘Lithuania and Ukraine need to more actively cooperate in the field of technology’
According to Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius, chairing the 18th meeting of the Lithuanian-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as the “ICC’) in Lviv (Ukraine), despite growing economic cooperation between the two countries it is necessary to seek for new partnership possibilities and ways, a press release from the Ministry of Economy states.
'Both Lithuania Ukraine need to consider of how to strengthen cooperation in both growing tourism and export areas and future sectors like financial technologies, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, etc. Both countries have strong technology sectors the cooperation of which could be useful. Lithuania has already created tools like the startup visa which enable innovative Ukrainian companies to get established in Lithuania and elaborate unique products together with our Lithuanian talents. This kind of cooperation with Ukraine need to be strengthened,' Minister Sinkevičius said.
Traditionally, extort remains equally important. 'Lithuania is interested in increasing export volumes to the market of Ukraine and in expanding cooperation in the field of manufacturing high value added products. Export potential to the market of Ukraine is not exploited yet and because of potential risk the national business is cautious about exporting their production to the large and promising market of Ukraine. To encourage businesses to do so an export credit guarantee scheme for goods of Lithuanian origin was developed and launched seeking to reduce market-related risks,' Minister Sinkevičius said.
The development of the transport infrastructure potential should contribute to the further development of bilateral business relations and the tourism sector activities. At the meeting, the representatives of Ukraine informed that efforts are made to restore direct flights between Lviv and Vilnius. Moreover, since late September of the current year, a new weekly train of UAB Ukrzaliznycja will be launched to link Kiev with Minsk, Vilnius and Riga.
The ICC meeting is chaired by a representative of Lithuania, Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius, and by a representative of Ukraine, Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian. The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Social Protection and Labour, the Lithuanian Standards Board, the business community and diplomats. After the meeting, a protocol of cooperation will be signed within the framework of which the countries will agree to continually strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of transport, energy, standards, tourism, trade, agriculture, environment, etc.
The next 19th meeting of the ICC will be held in 2019 in Lithuania. The 17th ICC meeting took place in June 2017 in Vilnius.
According to the data of Statistics Lithuania, in 2017, out of more than 180 Lithuanian foreign trade partners Ukraine ranked 19th by trade volumes, 12th by export and 22nd by import. Trade turnover between Lithuania and Ukraine increased by 19.8 %, compared 2017 to 2016, and amounted to EUR 1086,3 million. Lithuania's exports of goods and services to Ukraine respectively increased by 20.9 % and amounted to EUR 800,7 million, while imports from Ukraine increased by 16.8 % and made EUR 285,6 million.
Ukraine's investment in Lithuania increased by 29.3 % in 2017 compared to 2016, and amounted to EUR 22,58 million or 0.15 % of all foreign direct investment in Lithuania. Ukrainian businessmen mainly invested in real estate transactions and wholesale and retail trade; recently the growth of Ukraine's investment in professional, scientific and technical activities is observed.