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Klaipeda Economy Review: Both Business and Citizens Benefit from Growth
Klaipeda ID, the investment promotion agency under the city’s municipality, has just released its latest economy review. The document reveals high scores in education and transportation rankings, annual population growth for the first time since 1990, and the fact that Klaipeda’s citizens are among the youngest overall in the country.
While the Klaipeda region is the third in the country, below Vilnius and Kaunas, according to its GDP, with 4.9B EUR, it still grew by 3.6% in 2018. When it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), Klaipeda is third in the country with 951M EUR, growing by 2.4% annually. On the other hand, FDI per capita in Klaipeda was the second-highest in the country at 6,431 EUR, only behind the capital, Vilnius.
According to the data from Klaipeda ID, two new foreign companies started doing business in Klaipeda last year, while existing foreign direct investors invested 39M EUR and created 84 new jobs. This year, it is expected that Klaipeda will receive 64M EUR in FDI from current and new investors, creating 360 new jobs as well.
Klaipeda’s population size figures moved in a positive direction this year. With nearly 150,000 inhabitants, Klaipeda is the third-largest and second-youngest city in the country. Last year, it has experienced the first population increase since 1990. In Klaipeda, the population grew by 0.86% last year, the total population of Klaipeda city and the Klaipeda region overall grew by 1.44%.
The unemployment rate in Klaipeda has been the lowest among the largest Lithuanian cities since 2010 and it decreased again last year, faster than in Vilnius or Kaunas.
Nevertheless, Klaipeda maintains the best operating conditions for businesses among the largest Lithuanian cities. Office rent prices are up to 40% lower, while warehousing premises are up to 25% cheaper than in Kaunas or Vilnius. Net wages grew by 12.6% in Klaipeda last year: while this is a solid number for the population, it is still a bit lower than in Vilnius or Kaunas. Coupled with lower rent prices, Klaipeda is still the most competitive city in the country for most businesses.
Eimantas Kiudulas, the CEO of Klaipeda FEZ, says that these stats represent an improvement for both businesses and the population of the city, and the growth does not impede competitiveness.
“However, it’s also clear that these stats have been collected before the current coronavirus pandemic and some things may soon change,” said E. Kiudulas. “Under these circumstances, I applaud Klaipeda’s choice to start focusing on innovation, R&D-driven manufacturing, and other high value-added activities. They are all less prone to various global and local challenges.”
You can explore Klaipeda ID’s full review here.