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Country Forecast Lithuania 2nd Quarter 2018

Country Forecast Lithuania 2nd Quarter 2018

  • June 2018
  • ID: 5126714
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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Policy towards private enterprise and competition


2018-19: Limited progress in efforts to improve performance of state-owned enterprises. Efforts to crack down on the shadow economy may negatively affect legitimate businesses. Measures to tackle corruption will continue, driven by Lithuania's accession to the OECD.


2020-22: Semi-privatisation of Lithuania's three main airports, via a concession tender, could gain traction. Administrative procedures associated with starting a business remain comparatively low.


Policy towards foreign investment


2018-19: Government strategy to attract foreign investment focused in particular on "fintech", biotechnology and business services.


2020-22: Investment incentives targeted towards technology-related sectors and enhancing energy infrastructure.


Foreign trade and exchange controls


2018-19: Trade links with other euro zone markets strengthen. Trade policy is determined at EU level, with bilateral trade deals promoted. Risk of US-sparked global trade tensions and worsening EU-Russia relations.


2020-22: Foreign trade and exchange restrictions remain minimal. Further weakening of bilateral relations with Russia.


Taxes


2018-19: Indirect tax and compulsory health and social security contributions remain comparatively high, as in other Baltic states. Non-taxable personal income threshold increased t0 benefit low-income earners. Possible shift to more progressive income tax system from the current flat-tax rate. Changes to framework for social security contributions


2020-22: Efforts continue to improve indirect tax collection and reduce fairly high levels of non-compliance.


Financing


2018-19: Bank lending remains closely dependent on deposit growth. Nordic bank subsidiaries continue to dominate the financial sector. Venture capital and private equity gain importance as sources of financing. Ongoing reform of credit union sector.


2020-22: Gradual development of pan-Baltic capital market. Banking sector exposed to developments in the Nordic countries, especially in the housing sector.


The labour market


2018-19: Labour market reforms including relaxation of employment protection laws, extended unemployment benefits and improved training, but with delays to implementation and only a gradual impact. Ongoing emigration implies continued risk of labour shortages.


2020-22: Continued decline in working-age population. Persistent structural unemployment among low-skilled groups.


Infrastructure


2018-19: Ongoing efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas. Improved gas pipeline network and increasing regional flows from the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Further gradual progress in long-term Rail Baltica project.


2020-22: Delayed gas interconnector pipeline with Poland scheduled for completion. Work will continue to synchronise Baltic power grids with continental Europe. Possible road network improvements linking Poland.


Technological readiness


2018-19: Efforts to boost e-commerce, digital skill levels of the population and adoption of technology by businesses, as set out in the Digital Agenda Strategy and the Industry 4.0 initiative. Modest progress in improving the innovation environment, with R&D spending remaining low.


2020-22: Improvements to already robust e-government services. Increasing threat from cybercrime and cyber-espionage.



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