The quarantine has changed consumer habits: nearly a fifth will buy more online
The quarantine, that lasted for three months in Lithuania, not only has stimulated the business to reorient and to pay close attention to e-commerce, but has also changed consumer habits. A poll of Lithuanian population revealed that during the quarantine every fifth person bought more than usual online, and nearly a fifth of the respondents intends to continue buying more online. During this period, the scale of e-commerce in the Baltic States in general has increased by 80%, and consignment flows in Lithuania grew by 54%.
IMD World Competitiveness Ranking: Lithuania's economic development is gaining stability
Lithuania lost two positions in the IMD World Competitiveness Index, calculated by the Swiss Institute of International Management and dropped from 29th to 31th place. According to the four groups of criteria for the assessment of countries, Lithuania has significantly improved its position in the field of economic development but has declined in the areas of business efficiency, public sector efficiency and infrastructure assessment.
Lithuanian businesses join forces to combat COVID-19
In the face of the pandemic, businesses and institutions in all countries began looking for solutions to contribute to faster management of COVID-19. Lithuania is not an exception: Lithuania exports and entrepreneurship agency “Enterprise Lithuania” promptly mobilized and took the initiative “Business against COVID-19”. This initiative aims to coordinate the Lithuanian businesses who can supply and manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). The list of companies producing or providing PPE prepared by the agency includes more than 200 Lithuanian companies, of which as much as 30% are manufacturers capable of supplying their manufactured PPE.
Business leap to the Internet: 1000 online shops in one place, every tenth - a new one
In the first week of quarantine, the entrepreneurship and export development agency “Enterprise Lithuania” initiated the business support initiative “No quarantine on the Internet”, which per one month gathered 1000 Lithuanian online shops under one domain www.internetekarantinonera.lt. It brought together 100 professionals who have become mentors for businesses that are looking to digitize their activities and 20 partners who have offered support to make it as easy as possible for the businesses to move into a virtual space.
While fighting against COVID-19, Lithuanian companies are showing solidarity and are discovering new opportunities
In just over a week, 176 companies have already registered on the Entrepreneurship and Export Development Agency’s “Enterprise Lithuania” information website “www.verslaspriescovid19.lt” and provided information on their capabilities to produce and supply the necessary tools to combat the COVID-19 virus. Among the names on the list are both already existed businesses and the newcomers to the medical market – businesses that have quickly reoriented and adapted their production capacity for the production of personal protective equipment, disinfectants and medical devices, which are currently in the greatest demand.
Financial support and new solutions for businesses suffering from the coronavirus
Business conditions that have changed during the quarantine had a painful effect on the financial flows of many Lithuanian enterprises. Accordingly, the State took urgent measures to help them survive. About 1.3 billion euros are planned to be allocated from the planned Government package of financial instruments to Lithuanian business entities. Experts say that support and preferences will be provided to small, medium-sized and large businesses. The aim is not only to maintain the liquidity of enterprises, reduce the tax burden, but also to encourage them to reorient their activities.
Lithuanian export forecasts: from simplistic joy to shock models
Although the Lithuanian export growth rate slowed down in 2019, the country’s exporters still had something to enjoy. All of us have a different mood this spring – the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting business plans and destroying even the most cautious forecasts.
“Enterprise Lithuania” focuses on boosting the businesses suffering from the effects of coronavirus
Entrepreneurship and export development agency “Enterprise Lithuania” is launching an initiative to support businesses “No quarantine on the Internet” and will advise anyone who wants to transfer their activities/businesses to the virtual space quickly and easily. Entrepreneurs who are already using virtual space for their businesses are encouraged to register their online stores and we will seek to share information about them with as many people in the country as it is possible. “Enterprise Lithuania” has also decided to integrate into this program the unified e-commerce solution which was developed during this weekend’s hackathon “Hack the Crisis”.
Only responsible business cooperation and openness to the employees will help to survive the crisis
Neither our state nor businesses have ever faced this kind of crisis – it has touched all companies and organizations to a greater or lesser extent, and people were forced to review contracts and make changes. For many, it has become unclear how to act when the business activities are suspended or limited, how to deal with the questions related to labor law, what to do if you are unable to fulfill your contractual obligations and whether quarantine allows applying force majeure. All experts agree that now the most important thing for the businesses is to communicate, negotiate a win-win situation, and make decisions while feeling responsibility and solidarity.
Measures are planned to help the tourism business to overcome the crisis
Inbound tourism in Lithuania generates about 1 billion EUR of revenue per year, while outbound tourism – 300 million EUR. In our country, about 80 percent of the tourism business sector is made up of small and medium-sized businesses. It employs about 48 thousand people. Various restrictions due to the coronavirus have seriously affected the sector – this industry was facing a crisis as early as mid-February, and the crisis keeps getting worse. Experts in various fields confirm that measures are being sought in Lithuania and worldwide to help businesses and consumers in the tourism and other sectors.
“Enterprise Lithuania“ – communicating with business remotely
After Lithuania has been put under quarantine from 16 March, which will last until 30 March or until otherwise decided, the Public Institution “Enterprise Lithuania” and all it units (“Startup Lithuania” and “Spiečius” Co-Working Spaces) as well as the participants of the export leaders programme “Sparnai” (Wings) will work remotely and will ensure the smooth contactless provision of services.
Can the coronavirus be considered as a force majeure?
The coronavirus that has been lately spreading worldwide presents a number of challenges for business. To reduce the spread of the virus, Chinese and Italian companies have temporarily suspended their operations. This resulted in the termination of a large part of contracts. These countries are very important business partners of Lithuania. Therefore, a question that many entrepreneurs are asking is: “Does the coronavirus can be considered as a force majeure?”