WORK IN LITHUANIA
There is still a high dependence on agriculture in Lithuania, with arable, cereal and cotton production predominating. Significant industries include metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers. Other industries to be found in Lithuania are: petroleum refining; shipbuilding (small ships); furniture making; textiles; food processing; fertilizers; warehousing; agricultural machinery; leather goods; optical equipment; electronic components; computers; and amber. Light, rather than heavy industry now predominates.
Advantage Lithuania - the Lithuanian Development Agency (LDA) is keen to develop foreign investment as well as business start-ups and seven technology parks have been set up in the last two years. Knowledge-based industries are growing fast, notably information technology and telecommunications, laser technology (particularly in scientific research) and biotechnology. LDA lists Siemens, Telia, Philips, Motorola, Mars/Masterfoods, Sonera, Kraft Food International, Festo, Lancaster Steel, Partec, Kemira, Danisco, SEB, Carlsberg and Marzotto as multinational companies who now produce in Lithuania. The British Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania (BCC) has details of companies with trading links to the UK.
This expansion has seen a recent boom in the construction of both commercial and private accommodation during 2004. Lithuania is also striving to develop a tourist industry based around heritage attractions, rural tourism and health spas. Cultural (especially theatrical) activities are also prominent, with 13 professional theatres and numerous orchestras.
There are considerable labour shortages across a range of professions in construction, electrical and electronic engineering, information technology, finance, banking, business and management, although language barriers and low wages may prove a disincentive. Starting your own business offers potential opportunities.
There has been a substantial demand for teachers of English as a foreign language and, in the past, the Ministry of Science and Education, Lithuania has assisted applicants to find placements in Lithuanian schools. More recently, there has been a focus on training Lithuanian born teachers of English, with support from the British Council Lithuania.