Lithuania in the News
18th November 2018
|Lithuania Presented as a Leading European Centre in FinTech at China’s International Import Expo|
President Dalia Grybauskaitė greeted by President Xi Jinping.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt/ Robertas Dačkus
Lithuania’s President Grybauskaitė lead a Lithuanian trade delegation to CIIE and opened one of the three international forums on trade and investment. She was the first international leader to meet with President Xi, who stressed that Lithuania is an important country in its region and can play an important role in the interaction between Asia and Europe.
At a special FinTech (Financial Technologies) meeting in Shanghai, which was attended by 150 Chinese companies, President Grybauskaitė presented Lithuania as a hi-tech country, with a high reputation as a European leader in the rapidly developing technology of FinTech, which is the technology of applying digital technologies to the financial sector. Last year Lithuania’s FinTech industry grew 40%. It now encompasses 150 companies, including 6 Chinese ones. With a population of just under 3 million, Lithuania has nearly 2000 people working in FinTech. More generally, there are over 30,000 IT professionals working in Lithuania, with nearly another 10,000 soon to join the work force.
Lithuania is also at the forefront of blockchain technology, an exciting new development to store and convey data securely via the internet. Blockchain technology is set to revolutionise how the internet will be used in the future and will be very important to FinTech. Since January this year, Lithuania has already been hosting Europe’s first International Blockchain Centre, networked to similar centres in Shanghai and Melbourne in Australia.
President Grybauskaitė’s CIIE visit was sandwiched between two important ICT conferences in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. The Baltic States’ largest ICT and innovation conference “#SWITCH!” was held on September 20 in Vilnius. It was then followed by the FinTech Inn conference on November 8 in Vilnius, the largest FinTech event in the Baltic region, attended by about 1,300 delegates. It is clear that there is a FinTech boom in Lithuania and Lithuania is positioning itself as the FinTech leader in the Nordic-Baltic region.
As put by the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, FinTech is one of three “breakthrough areas” that Lithuania is keen to develop. The other two are laser technology and biochemistry. China is already the third biggest importer of Lithuanian-made lasers, making up 12% of Lithuanian laser exports.