Industrial parks, the place to invest
There is a future for local and foreign investors in industrial parks, the first of which will be presented today by Lithuanian Development Agency and the municipality of the Utena region at the Draugystė Hotel in Vilnius.
Businesses which will choose a park for a green-field investment or as a place to expand current activities can expect to be granted tax breaks within the province of municipal authorities.
Parks will provide equal operating environment for both local and foreign investors alike, says Marius Ramanauskas, the Agency's investment projects director. Page 4
Lithuanian carrier boards Wings alliance
Today Lietuvos avialinijos (LAL), the country's national airline slated for privatisation later this year, will sign a code-sharing agreement with the Dutch KLM for the Vilnius-Amsterdam route.
The arrangement will be mutually beneficial, as it will attract more passengers to both airlines, at the same time providing travelers with a more convenient way to reach their destination. KLM will sell tickets for LAL's flights through its own computerized booking system.
LAL's customers will enjoy the possibility to use the extensive flight network of more than 500 destinations in 95 countries of the international Wings alliance, of which KLM is a major partner.
The Lithuanian carrier will become first representative of Wings in the Baltics. Page 8
Machine producers ranking published
Today's VŽ issue runs a ranking of the country's biggest machine producers.
The top position is occupied by the fast growing Vilniaus Vingis, the capital-based producer of deflection yokes and split transformers, used in TV-set production. Last year the company's sales reached Lt 81.225m. Page 9
Brewery to expand production capacity
Vilniaus Tauras, the country's fourth-biggest beer producer by sales volume, has earmarked Lt 10m for investment into the production capacity expansion this year. The measure is expected to boost total production by 33 per cent.
The brewery, 95 per cent-owned by the Danish Brewery Group, will channel the money into upgrading the technological process of brewing and install, among others, new ripening tanks and an up-to-date bottling line.
"We expect a 14 per cent increase in sales this year", says Gediminas Janavičius, director general of Vilniaus Tauras. The whole national beer market should grow by 10 to 15 per cent, he reckons. Page 7
Elinta mulls new equipment production
Elinta, the Lithuanian technological processes automation company, plans to start piece-production of production control and measurement equipment.
Several big orders from the Kaunas' water treatment plant, Kėdainiai fertilizer producer Kemira Lifosa and Mažeikių nafta oil refinery helped to increase the firm's turnover by Lt 1m, to Lt 7.85m, last year. The company also moved to new premises and updated its software and a part of the hardware.
The expansion should retain its growth rate thanks to the increasing spread of automatization and modernization in the industry.
Recently Elinta has teamed up with RMT and the local representative of Siemens (both Germany) to revamp the automation system and electricity network at the Kauno vandenys, the water utility. Page 9
Newcomer enters windows market
Arvio sodas, the newcomer to the plastic windows production in the Klaipėda port-town, is vying for a decent slice in the overcrowded local market which saw a 30 per cent production price slump last year due to the increased competition.
The firm faces an uphill battle with five other city's producers, with another fifteen representatives of various manufacturers in no mood to give up their position.
Even with the adjacent towns of Palanga and Neringa, Klaipėda's PVC windows market is too small to accommodate so many firms, industry insiders say, a situation that should trigger sector consolidation or exit of some players in the near future. Page 6
Golf, a national Lithuanian game
Present and would-be local golf fans can heave a sigh of relief and forget those tiresome weekend trips to Tallinn to have a game of golf. Instead they can take a stroll to the newly established Žvėrynas golf club in Vilnius which has opened a winter training facility .
"We are taking our first steps in the hope to attract would-be club members and introduce them to the techniques and rules of the game", says Seppo Siren, who owns the idea and heads the club when he's not too busy with the managerial chores at Isku baldai, the local Finnish-capital furniture retailer.
The club's future plans include setting up a 120-hectare world-class golf course in the capital. Page 16