With a population of 3.2 million, Lithuania is a relatively small, but potentially attractive market for American goods and services. Its geographic location, proximity to the EU and NIS markets, excellent infrastructure, very competitive living and operating costs, availability of high-skilled workforce is a good place for the U.S. producers, suppliers in their effort to expand into global markets.
In 2004 Lithuania joined the EU and NATO. Lithuania’s strong commitment and effort to join the EU and NATO won broad recognition worldwide and helped the country improve its legal, tax and customs systems – all of which helped with development of the economy and commercial sector. Today Lithuania represents an open and rapidly growing economy : - Gross domestic product rose by 7.6% in 2005, 7.4% in 2006 and 8.7% in 2007. Average annual growth for the five-year period ending in 2007 exceeded 8.3%. Analysts had forecasted that GDP growth would be 5.3% in 2008, but the global financial crisis didn’t spare Lithuania: negative growth in Q4 reduced the annual GDP growth rate to 3.2% and in 2009 GDP shrank by 15%. Business bankruptcies rose and unemployment increased. Nonetheless, the Government of Lithuania slashed pensions and public sector wages to help the country recover its economic footing. GDP stabilized in Q3 of 2010, and grew 1.3% for the year overall. Now, Lithuanian GDP is projected to grow 5.8% for 2011, which will make it one of the fastest growing countries in the EU.