In the article of the largest Lithuanian business news portal vz.lt, the head of the Šiauliai Free Economic Zone, Artūras Klangauskas talks about possibilities for foreign and local investors in the Šiauliai FEZ. Read the English version of the article below.
Growing Šiauliai FEZ offers new possibilities to investors
Currently foreign and local investors can develop their businesses in 7 free economic zones (FEZ) throughout Lithuania. The Šiauliai FEZ, where in recent years intensive works of creating infrastructure meeting the needs of plain-field and business investments have taken place, is currently particularly active.
“Currently all the necessary engineering, communication and lighting networks, and connection lines are installed. We also offer foreign and Lithuanian investors possibility to establish within merely 6 months. A land-plot of 1,8 hectares has been formed with an option to expand it up to 3 hectares, a construction permit has also been acquired which means that an investor will be able to implement their business plans within a very short time period. A structure of 9000 square meters can be constructed on the land-plot, the development could be carried out in three stages.” relates Artūras Klangauskas.
The detailed plan with planned engineering infrastructure prepared by the municipality in 2005 had been designed in an optimal and concentrated way, so that all the necessary infrastructure would be installed near the formed land-plots, thus each land-plot has all the necessary infrastructure near its boundary, which saves a lot of investor’s time and construction costs.
Another important innovation in the FEZ – the construction of the road between FEZ and the highway A9, which leads to Panėvžys, should be completed by autumn. This road will improve communications for the companies operating in the FEZ, due to the fact that an important highway can be reached quicker and simpler.
Šiauliai is situated in a particularly comfortable geographical location: relatively not far from harbours of Riga and Klaipėda, which have container terminals, additionally Riga, Kaunas and Vilnius airports are easily accessible not to mention the nearby Zokniai airport, the potential and possibilities of which are not yet fully used. “We expect that the FEZ will be able to contribute to the phoenix-like rise of Zokniai airport.” says the head of the FEZ.
In addition to the quality infrastructure, the businesses are able to use tax exemptions: “For the first 10 years of operation, income tax of 0% is applied to the companies of the FEZ and for the next six years only half of the income tax rate is applied. 0%. of the real estate tariff is applied to the whole period of operation. In addition, foreign investors welcome the competences of Lithuanian workers and business-friendly political environment.” says A. Klangauskas.
The support of municipality is important for the success of the FEZ
Developed infrastructure is not enough to draw local businesspeople and foreign investors. The head of the Šiauliai FEZ is happy about the effective cooperation with the Šiauliai municipality. This Monday a declaration of cooperation was signed between the Šiauliai municipality, public institution “Investuok Lietuvoje”, public institution “Versli Lietuva”, The Šiauliai University, The Šiauliai State College, The Šiauliai Industrialists Association, The Šiauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts and the Šiauliai FEZ. The aim of the declaration – to encourage closer cooperation between all parties in order to strengthen business-friendly environment and investments in the region of Šiauliai. According to A. Klangauskas it is a pleasure to see the most important institutions of the city communicating and having a common goal instead of working separately.
Good start – half of the work
In 2018, the first to begin construction of a factory in the FEZ was a company of nonstandard signboards – “Reklamos diktatorius”, currently a company of dental products “Medicinos linija” and a Norwegian window producer “Plus Windows” are establishing in the FEZ. The total investment of the companies will exceed 9 million euros. It is estimated that almost 200 employees will work in these factories.
While the city is not large, Šiauliai has been famous for its industry for a very long time and that is why the business considers it to be the centre of engineering industry. Vehicle, plastic, metal or wood processing industries can be successfully developed here. “Šiauliai just like Kaunas and Klaipėda has a university. Vocational education is also very industry-oriented. The attitude towards the education process is innovative, education programmes are oriented towards business needs, robotic classrooms are created. The education institutions are interested in working with the business”, A. Klangauskas lists the advantages.
Compared to the other large cities of Lithuania, the rise of Šiauliai is just beginning. For this reason, the companies currently have great opportunities to find qualified employees and the general business costs are lower than in the other cities. “We are interested in cooperating and helping the companies operating in the FEZ in creating their success, that is why we often contribute to the investor projects from their beginning until actual operation starts.” says A. Klangauskas.