On 18 May, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Latvia announced the contest for the Balts’ Award 2020.
The aim of the Balts’ Award is to recognize the excellence and achievements related to individual contribution and accomplishment in promotion of Lithuanian-Latvian and Latvian-Lithuanian translations, teaching and enhancing the use of Lithuanian and Latvian languages, research on the Lithuanian and Latvian tangible and intangible cultural and historic heritage, as well as investigative journalism on Lithuanian and Latvian history, culture and tourism.
The Lithuanian government on Wednesday allocated 100,000 euros to purchase protective personal equipment for medical workers in the state of Pennsylvania, US.
"As the pandemic continues, we show solidarity [...] by providing support to US medical staff and other key workers involved in life-saving operations," Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said in a press release.
Digitisation and reorientation of industry, attraction of new investment, retraining of the employed in high value-added areas, biotechnology, medical services, deployment of renewable energy sources. These are just a few of the long-term investment proposed by the Ministry of Finance to help the national economy recover after the pandemic and to change it substantially over time.
“Location, location, location” is not just a catchy term used by realtors, or a key criteria to consider when setting up a new GBS centre. It’s also the decisive factor when it comes to Transport and Logistics. Positioned between three sizeable markets – Western Europe, the Nordics and the CIS – Lithuania boasts a Transport and Logistics sector that accounts for a larger percent of GDP (12%) than any other EU nation.
CAST AI, a Florida-based developer of cloud computing solutions, has announced the establishment of a development office in Lithuania. The company, which has already raised $4.8M at begining of 2020, plans to expand its Vilnius-based team to 100 people in the next three years.
SBA Group has launched the second stage of the SBA Technology and Innovation Park development process. An automated and robotic factory is about to be built in the cluster developed near Klaipėda, the company informs.
It is expected to provide regional companies with the components needed for furniture production.
As Kaunas birthday approaches, the final program of events becomes brighter. One of the highlights that day will be a gala dinner in the very center of the city, to which the old town community enthusiastically joins. On Saturday (May 23) from 5 p. m. the tables arranged at safe distances will stretch not only in the renewed Laisvės avenue., but also in Vilniaus street – all the way to and around the Town Hall Square. In addition, more and more urban cultural organizations are joining the festive initiatives.
The photographer Antanas Sutkus stands out for his ability to build a special emotional connection with his subjects.
His photography conveys subtle psychological states and everyday moments. For Sutkus, the key is to show the humanity of his models.
Along with Romualdas Rakauskas, Aleksandras Macijauskas and other accomplished photographers, Sutkus built a peculiar photographic movement, the so-called Lithuanian school of photography, closely aligned with Western humanist photography.
Castles and manor houses, architectural ensembles surrounded by green parks, wrapped in a veil of history, adorning the entire landscape of Lithuania like gemstones… | Credits @ Lietuvos pilių ir dvarų asociacija
Paris-based Litvak artist reclaims Lithuanian citizenship
The internationally renowned Paris-based contemporary artist Esther Shalev-Gerz has been presented with the Lithuanian citizenship in acknowledgement of her Litvak roots.
During a short ceremony at the Embassy of Lithuania in Paris on Tuesday, Shalev-Gerz received a Lithuanian passport from Ambassador Nerijus Aleksiejūnas.
Born Gilinsky in Vilnius in 1948, she and her family moved to Israel in 1957. After graduating from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Shalev-Gerz moved to the USA and, subsequently, to Paris.
Lithuania is sending essential medical supplies for combating the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to Armenia, Moldova, and Georgia. The medical devices were manufactured in Lithuania. The country also sent a humanitarian cargo to Ukraine on 13 May.
52.6 thousand protective face shields worth EUR 100,000 were acquired from UAB Baltic Digital Printing and UAB Mediena Era.
The Ministry of Energy has submitted a draft Government Resolution to stakeholders for coordination on locations in the Baltic Sea where it is expedient to develop wind farms. Proposals were also submitted regarding the capacities of the power plants – it could meet one-quarter of Lithuania’s demand.
On 12 May, the first Ambassador of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Bahrain Edminas Bagdonas presented his letters of credence to Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani.
The Ambassador E. Bagdonas conveyed the Lithuanian President’s wishes to the King and the people of Bahrain. The Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani took interest in the situation in Lithuania and congratulated the country on the effective management of the pandemic.
Royal Air Force Typhoon secure the Baltic States | Credits @ NATO Allied Air Command
BUSINESS & SCIENCE
15 women in European fintech you should know
European fintech has a noticeable lack of women in charge. But despite the shortage, there is a small handful of influential female chiefs and executives that merit coverage.
Lithuania is Europe’s second-largest (regulated) fintech hub. The country ranks first for its ratio of women in tech in the EU, and fintech is no exception — the main bulk of fintech companies based in Lithuania see women make up 30% or more of their workforce. In addition, two of its eight most highly-valued fintechs are founded by women.
Vilnius continues taking advantage of the opportunities offered by quarantine: the idea of freedom for outdoor cafes is followed by a new and an even stronger concept of freedom for the Old Town – freedom from car transit. Loop traffic to be introduced at the heart of the capital in July will allow getting rid of unnecessary transit traffic, and starting next week, four streets in the Old Town or their sections will be freed up for pedestrians.
The Baltics have created the first “travel bubble” in the EU, opening borders to each other's citizens. Now other countries, looking to restart their tourism, look for similar solutions, Emerging Europe reports.
Restarting travel and tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is the next headache facing governments across Central and Eastern Europe, particularly those in which tourism accounts for a large percentage of economic activity, such as Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria and Georgia.
Over the past five years, the digital economy in Lithuania has been steadily growing (7.6% of the total economy at the end of 2019, the EU average in 2017 – 10.3%). The digital economy in Lithuania is currently the 5th most significant sector of the economy in terms of its added value. In the digital economy, the information technology (IT) industry is the most prominent with 56% growth over five years, while the number of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals in Lithuania increased by 17%, accounting for 2.7% of the total number of persons employed at the end of 2019.
Corporate manufacturing strategies will no longer be the same in the post-COVID era. Strict measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak by governments around the world have created an unprecedented level of uncertainty. This is especially true with regards to consumer behaviour. Furthermore, global supply chains are experiencing strategic shifts. But for every threat manufacturing companies face, there are new opportunities emerging as well. So, despite the flux, manufacturers are actively shaping their manufacturing strategies.
Lithuanian producer Marija Razgutė established the Vilnius-based boutique film production company M-Films in 2008 with a focus on producing fiction shorts and features with social, psychological, and family issues. Since the beginning she has worked with the young generation of Lithuanian film directors and she has been now selected as one of the 2020 Producers on the Move by European Film Promotion.
Although the planned traditional event – a three–day fiesta will not take place due to the situation in the country, it is obvious that the quarantine will not prevent Kaunas residents from celebrating the city’s 612th birthday. On this occasion, a joint cultural gift is already being prepared for the 23rd of May. This year, festive initiatives are moving to the courtyards of the blocks of flats, streets of residential areas and virtual space. Cafes and restaurants will also offer safe community dinners in Laisvės Alėja (the Liberty Avenue).
The Digital Finance Outreach 2020 is a series of events organised in collaboration with Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, Bank of Lithuania, European Commission Representation in Lithuania and others, inviting Fintech enthusiasts to discuss digital innovation in the financial sector.
For decades the global nuclear energy industry was a highly diverse and vibrant market. Today the situation has changed with the global nuclear energy market becoming increasingly dominated by the state-owned companies of Russia and China.
Expats in quarantine: adapting to new life in Lithuania
Expats in Lithuania, as the rest of the people in the country, were stuck indoors after the nationwide quarantine was announced on March 16. Here’s some of their stories, as profiled by Work in Lithuania, a government agency.
Salvatore Riniolo hails from California, near San Francisco, where he went to school and have lived for the last six years. Mesmerised by video games and the worlds they open, he wanted to developed games from a young age. Now he manages art content for Unity, one of several major game engine developers in the world.
Exceptional, iconic and endlessly inspiring: Israel's national poet and Kaunas native - Lea Goldberg, or Lija Goldbergaitė, who left one "beloved country" to sing songs in another - the promised one... | Credits @ Lithuanian Art and Culture in Israel
Highlight of the Week
Vilnius in Bloom with Stiklių Quarter preparing for summer