New strategy for Lithuania focuses on energy and finance

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The EBRD Board of Directors has approved a new country strategy for Lithuania where the Bank has been operating since 1991.

Lithuania has made significant progress in its transition to a well-functioning market economy and is expected to graduate from the Bank by the end of the forthcoming three-year strategy period.

The EBRD’s operations in Lithuania are focused in a few remaining areas where there are significant remaining transition challenges. The Bank supports strategic projects: such as a gas-fired Lithuanian power plant which partially replaces the closed Ignalina nuclear power station, and investments in wind farms (through its Estonian investee company, Nelja Energia). Currently, the EBRD is considering an investment which would strengthen shipping and trade – an expansion of container handling operations in Klaipeda port by Terminal Investment Ltd.

Energy will continue to be the main priority for the EBRD in Lithuania. The Bank will continue promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, particularly in the municipal and industrial sectors.

Other priorities are: improving the competitiveness of the export sector; supporting the strengthening of local banks; and policy dialogue to support improvements in corporate governance in the financial and public sectors.

To date, the EBRD has signed 78 deals in Lithuania with a net cumulative business volume of €603 million, and a total project value of nearly €2 billion. Approximately 26 per cent of the Bank’s investments have been in the financial institutions sector, 18 per cent in power and energy, 29 per cent in industry, commerce and agribusiness and 27 per cent in infrastructure.