Vilnius Tops Business-Friendly City Perception Index in Emerging Europe
The Business-Friendly City Perception Index has crowned Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, as the most business-friendly city in emerging Europe. This accolade positions Vilnius ahead of last year’s victor, Prague. The ascension of Vilnius to the top spot can be attributed to its impressive performance across several key categories, including business climate, talent pool, infrastructure, connectivity, and quality of life.
The Top Contenders
While Vilnius takes the top position, other cities have also performed remarkably in the index. Kyiv, Łódź, and Tallinn were included in the top five positions. It’s important to note that the index evaluates cities across eight categories, and no single city dominated all aspects. This is indicative of the diverse strengths and potential of cities across emerging Europe. Warsaw and Kyiv were victorious in multiple categories, while other winning cities included Ljubljana, Lviv, and Tallinn.
Emerging Cities in Focus
A new category was introduced in the index this year, focusing on emerging cities with populations between 100,000 and 200,000. In this category, Klaipėda, another Lithuanian city, emerged victorious. This recognition underlines the growing potential of smaller cities in the region and Lithuania’s overall appeal to businesses.
Lithuania’s Economic Landscape
Lithuania has the largest economy amongst the three Baltic states. Over the past few decades, the country has swiftly transitioned from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, implementing numerous liberal reforms. Lithuania’s GDP has grown by over 500% since regaining independence in 1990, leading to the country being referred to as a Baltic Tiger. Today, Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and is categorized amongst countries with very high human development.
Attracting Foreign Direct Investment
Lithuania is known for its ease of doing business, ranked 11th globally in the Ease of Doing Business Index prepared by the World Bank Group. On average, more than 95% of all foreign direct investment in Lithuania comes from European Union countries. This business-friendly climate has led to an increase in the number of greenfield investment projects in the country, further enhancing the country’s appeal to businesses.
Education and Workforce
Lithuania’s educated workforce is another key factor contributing to its business appeal. Based on OECD data, Lithuania is among the top five countries globally in postsecondary tertiary education attainment. This educated workforce has attracted investments, particularly in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The recognition of Vilnius and Klaipėda in the Business-Friendly City Perception Index underscores Lithuania’s continued growth and appeal to businesses. With the country’s educated workforce, ease of doing business, and liberal economic policies, Lithuania is poised to continue attracting foreign direct investment and businesses seeking to establish or expand operations in emerging Europe.
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