Influential U.S. Organization Mulls Bilateral Cooperation With Lithuanian Leaders

Courtesy the Lithuania Tribune
May 15, 2014
Members of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an influential U.S. organization, met with Lithuanian leaders in Vilnius on Wednesday to discuss economic, energy and cultural cooperation.

Twenty members of the organization, which represents U.S. government bodies, investment companies, law firms, education and medical institutions, on Wednesday had meetings with Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius.

The delegation was headed by U.S. former ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder who currently heads the Chicago council.

The guests were interested in Lithuania’s economic situation and opportunities to invest in the Baltic state, the president’s press service said.

“Growing interest of U.S. entrepreneurs and public figures in Lithuania shows that we are an attractive country for investment. We have well-developed infrastructure, skilled workforce and opportunities provided by the most rapidly developing European economy. Lithuanians are also interested in opportunities to invest in the United States. This is proof of strong mutual trust,” the president said.

At the meeting, Grybauskaite emphasized the importance of U.S. support to Lithuania’s 2015 aspirations for membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which spans the world’s most advanced economies is highly important.

In the president’s words, bilateral trade, investments and job creation will be further advanced by the EU-U.S. free trade agreement currently under negotiation.

At the meeting with the delegation, Butkevicius discussed ways of improving the investment climate, the government’s press service said.

“We are glad about the intentions recently announced by the large corporations, such as Western Union and Philip Morris International to expand their operations in Lithuania. This demonstrates an attractive investment climate in our country,” Butkevicius said in the press release.

He also said that Lithuania is grateful to the U.S. for its decision to step up the NATO air-policing mission in the Baltic states, notified about the political agreement to raise the defense spending to two per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).