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Survey: 84% of coastal region residents hold Klaipėda FEZ in high regard

29 May 2024

According to a new survey by the consulting firm Civitta, 84% of Klaipėda county residents rate the reputation of Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) as good or very good. Additionally, 75% of respondents have positive opinions about the business community within the zone and its reliability. All these metrics have improved over the past three years.

The survey data shows that 70% or more of the respondents who expressed any kind of opinion view positively or very positively the Klaipėda FEZ business community as an employer, business partner, client or service provider.

Among the most frequently mentioned attributes of Klaipėda FEZ’s reputation by the residents were its significant contribution to the city and state budgets, its role in enhancing Klaipėda’s visibility, business growth and potential, attractiveness to professionals from various fields, good organization, innovativeness, transparency and professionalism, as well as proper maintenance of the area. This year, respondents most wished for Klaipėda FEZ companies to continue their social activities, use natural resources responsibly and further invest in employee well-being.

Klaipėda FEZ CEO Eimantas Kiudulas commented that residents’ feedback is one of the key indicators of the business community’s success. This feedback is crucial for current and potential investors: both for expanding activities and attracting talent.

“I believe that good and continuously improving reputation metrics are the result of the consistent integration of the FEZ into the city. For some time now, we have seen ourselves not as a manufacturing area but as an integral part of the city an a community of product development, innovation and services. It is not surprising that regional residents see us not only as a workplace but also as a source of modern management, progress and other inspirations. However, expectations are constantly growing, so we must continue to develop areas and opportunities relevant to residents,” said E. Kiudulas.

Rūta Gaudiešienė, a partner at the firm Civitta that conducted the survey, noted that Klaipėda as a city stands out with the best reputation among Lithuania’s major cities. According to her, the growing metrics of Klaipėda FEZ over several years reflect the ability of the city’s resident and business communities to adapt and strengthen their positions even under challenging conditions. For comparison, a similar survey conducted at the end of 2020 recorded an 80% positive reputation rating for the Klaipėda FEZ.

“Klaipėda FEZ is seen by regional and city residents as an attractive employer for representatives of various professions, and a promising, rapidly growing business community. FEZ companies are distinguished by their reputation for being well-organized, well-managed and innovative, which helps strengthen the region’s economic development,” stated R. Gaudiešienė.

In her assessment, for Klaipėda and any other region aiming for growth and competitiveness, it is important to engage young people, promote career growth for young talents, and foster more active collaboration with municipalities and educational institutions.

According to Civitta’s data, Klaipėda FEZ’s overall reputation index would rank 15th in Lithuania, placing it among business leaders: second only to a few startups, financial and biotechnology companies, and ahead of well-known retal, telecommunications and service companies.

Among the best-known Klaipėda FEZ investors, respondents most frequently mentioned Neo Group, Orion Global Pet (Indorama), Espersen, Skuba, Glassbel Baltic, AD REM LEZ, and Lavango.

Civitta conducted the survey in April 2024 using the CAWI method, polling 500 respondents aged 18-74, primarily from Klaipėda city and Klaipėda district, as well as Kretinga, Palanga, Skuodas and Šilutė districts.

Additionally, a customer survey conducted at the end of 2023 with the consulting firm Smart Continent LT showed that 94.3% of investors would recommend Klaipėda FEZ.

Currently, about 2800 employees work in Klaipėda FEZ investor companies, with around 5000 across the entire territory. More than 45 foreign investors operating in Klaipėda FEZ paid over EUR 107 million in personal income tax, VAT and social security contributions in 2022, and purchased goods and services worth more than EUR 500 million in the Lithuanian market. Since its inception in 2002, companies with Lithuanian and foreign capital in Klaipėda FEZ have implemented or planned investments totaling EUR 778 million. The total tax contribution of Klaipėda FEZ companies to the city, state and social security budgets over the past 10 years has been nearly EUR 567 million.

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