President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian-Japanese business relations are growing stronger

2018-10-05

Friday, October 5, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the Japanese food industry business delegation to discuss Lithuanian-Japanese business cooperation and the global promotion of women’s entrepreneurship.

Japan – one of the seven largest economies in the world (G7) – is Lithuania’s key economic and fourth largest trading partner in Asia. It is a highly important market for Lithuanian-made lasers, medical equipment and biotechnologies. Bilateral trade has increased fourfold since 2010 and Lithuanian foods, including diary, bread and fish products, are becoming more and more popular in Japan.

According to the President, the EU-Japan free trade agreement, which will come into force next year, will open many new opportunities for business and trade. Lithuania has consistently supported the agreement as it will bring direct benefits to our businesses too. Eliminating or significantly reducing customs duties on cheese, meat and other products means more potential to boost trade in food products and that Lithuanian companies will gain access to a highly advanced market of 127 million consumers.

The President emphasized that growing bilateral business cooperation between Lithuania and Japan strengthened people-to-people contacts. More than 20 thousand Japanese tourists visit Lithuania every year and the number is constantly increasing, new student exchange programs are initiated and partnerships between Lithuanian and Japanese towns are built. Our two countries are bound by unique historic ties: shared memory of Chiune Sugihara recognized as the Righteous Among the Nations. 

The promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and their stronger economic role in the world was also discussed at the meeting. Dalia Grybauskaitė, who chairs the Council of Women World Leaders, underlined that personal example was highly valuable for encouraging women to start business and seek a career in competitive sectors of economy.

Only every second woman is actively engaged in Japan’s labor market – which is among the greatest gender equality gaps in the developed world. In Lithuania, the employment of men and women stands at 70 percent but gaps still exist in advanced technologies and science. Women account for only 20 percent of IT specialists and this fact adds to the pay gap between men and women. At the initiative of the Lithuanian President, a high level event was organized at the UN General Assembly this past September on economic growth through women’s empowerment which attracted global attention.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.10.05 12:45

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