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New investments increased the significance of the Klaipeda FEZ for the coastal economy
By the end of last year, the Klaipėda Free Economic Zone had accumulated EUR 798 million in foreign direct investment (FDI), which accounted for 60.1 per cent of the total FDI in Klaipėda city, and 44.7 per cent of the total FDI in the Klaipėda region, according to data from Statistics Lithuania. In one year, the share of the investment in the FEZ in the overall city FDI portfolio increased by 3 percentage points, and by nearly 5 percentage points with respect to the regional FDI.
According to the most recent data from the Klaipėda FEZ, during 2016, investors operating in the free economic zone invested in excess of EUR 12.5 million in equipment and infrastructure. More than one million euros were invested last year by plastics industry companies Retal and Orion Global PET, as well as automobile industry companies Yazaki and Be-Ge, and oil and gas industry manufacturer Advantec, a member of General Electric Group. During the period covered the companies also created new jobs; with 200 new jobs added, the total number increased from 1,890 to 2,100. Currently, more than 4,000 employees work in the companies operating in the Klaipėda FEZ, which statistically means 1 in 20 working age Klaipėda residents.
According to data from Statistics Lithuania, the Klaipėda city FDI portfolio at of the end of 2016 was worth EUR 826.5 million, and EUR 1.114 billion in the Klaipėda region. With EUR 12 million in new foreign direct investment, the share of the Klaipėda FEZ in the city’s FDI portfolio increased from 57 per cent to 60 per cent, and from 40 per cent to 45 per cent in the region; thus, the Klaipėda FEZ plays a significant role for its city and region among another FEZ operating in Lithuania.
‘We have estimated that four out of five investors in the Klaipėda FEZ exceed their initial development plan in the first year of operations, and this initial success triggers further development. Our foreign capital companies were actively developing not only last year, but also in 2017. We have already received some data on development plans for 2018, and the news is most advantageous for us. It is also highly appreciated, because it shows that we are developing the free economic zone in the correct direction, and we have been successful in meeting the ever-growing expectations of the investors based in the FEZ’, says Eimantas Kiudulas, the CEO of the Klaipėda FEZ.
The development and success of the current investors are important for the region not only because of the newly created jobs or the taxes paid. They are vital for new orders and work for service companies and suppliers in the Klaipėda region and the whole of Lithuania: during 2016 alone, FEZ companies purchased goods and services from Lithuanian companies for more than EUR 200 million. The performance of investors is also vital and plays a role in more than 100 different small and medium-sized enterprises based in the FEZ.