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2020.05.07 15:00

Lithuania 'more entrepreneurial' and will rebound faster than Europe – finance minister

BNS2020.05.07 15:00

Lithuania's economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis will be more rapid than in other EU countries, since its businesses are “more entrepreneurial,” according to Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka.

“Given that our business is definitely more entrepreneurial than that in older EU member states, Lithuania’s recovery will surely be more rapid and substantial, even though the economic decline will be broadly similar [in all EU countries],” he told the Žinių Radijas radio on Thursday.

Read more: EC predicts 8-percent dip in Lithuania's GDP

The current economic situation is highly uncertain, according to him, but the stability of Lithuania’s economy before the crisis has a positive impact.

“We had the highest credit rating in our history, debt levels of our households, government and firms were low in comparison to other countries and [Lithuania’s] finances were managed in a responsible manner,” Šapoka said.

Previous crises showed that Lithuanian businesses are “able to adapt to the situation rapidly”, the minister said.

“The majority of businesses will definitely emerge stronger from this crisis as they will discover new markets and create new products,” he added.

The European Commission sees Lithuania's GDP contracting by 7.9 percent this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in particular its dampening effect on domestic demand.

The Commission projects a steeper economic slump in Lithuania than in Latvia (7 percent) and Estonia (6.9 percent). However, Lithuania's recovery in 2021 will also be the most rapid among the Baltic countries, the Commission believes.

The estimates of GDP growth are 7.4 percent for Lithuania, 6.4 for Latvia and 5.9 for Estonia.