Trade between France and Lithuania is growing, increasing almost tenfold since 1995 to stand at 1.6 billion euros in 2008, but fell sharply in 2009, in connection with the recession. Our exports (€483 M) make us Lithuania’s tenth-leading supplier, with a market share of 2.8%. Our main export sectors are intermediate goods (35%), automotive products (26%), consumer goods (15%) and capital goods (13%). Our imports mainly concern energy products (58%), intermediate goods (26%), and consumer goods (8.3%). Meanwhile, the sharp increase in France’s total investments (FDI) posted through 2008 conveys the interest of French investors in the Lithuanian market, considered to be a springboard not only to the other two Baltic countries, but to Belarus and Kaliningrad as well. With 74 French-owned companies, France’s presence in Lithuania accounted for FDI totalling €512M at the end of 2009.
This sound performance is mainly the result of the increase in investments made in the sector of heating (Dalkia, 60% of the total French investments made in Lithuania), trade, real estate, agrifood and financial services. Accordingly, about a dozen new French investors chose to enter the Lithuanian market last year, including Danone, Leclerc and Société Générale.
In addition, other expressions of interest are seen on a regular basis, intended in particular to study the buyout of local structures (case of Lafarge, Mercurio, etc.) and, in certain cases, to anticipate the massive arrival of European funds (€8.5b over the period 2007-2013). Indeed, needs are plentiful and investment projects are now identifiable, especially in the sectors of infrastructures (road, rail, port, airport, tourist), energy and the environment, favourite sectors of the French offering, the know-how of which is appreciated and recognized by the Lithuanian government: signing of a protocol for bilateral collaboration in the field of tourism and a strategic bilateral partnership in the energy sector in 2007, intervention of French experts in the agricultural and veterinary sectors in Lithuania in 2007-2008.
Updated on 26.01.11