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.
“We see that our coordinated Single-window system “Business vs. COVID-19: Supply Opportunities and Support” has proved its worth – it is actively used both by companies that are submitting their offers and by public institutions that are planning public procurement, as well as by the medical institutions, which need to purchase the necessary equipment here and now, also pharmacies and retail chains. We provide all parties with what is most needed in this situation – the opportunity to promptly receive information, make decisions and act” says Daina Kleponė, the General Manager of “Enterprise Lithuania”.
Today, Lithuanian business, which has survived several difficult periods in the past and is currently facing quarantine restrictions, has the opportunity to apply the lessons learned during crises. According to D. Kleponė, flexibility, the ability to quickly adapt to changed conditions, modify existing goods or start new production, discover new niches and customers are more important than ever for the businesses. “We are glad to see such examples among the companies that have submitted offers. In this way, businesses not only show solidarity by contributing to the supply of necessary goods but also ensures the continuity of activities, guarantees jobs for its employees and supports the sustainability of the economy” emphasizes the General Manager of “Enterprise Lithuania”.
Sewing companies are among the first to discover a new niche of activity. Both individual activity-based small tailor shops and well-known names such as AB “Audimas”, AB “Utenos trikotažas”, AB “Pakaita” or AB “Kauno Baltija” decided to sew masks, disposable overalls, shoe covers, robes, caps and the other protective equipment for medics. More and more companies in the cosmetics industry are involved in the production of disinfectants, for example, companies such as UAB “Cosmoway”, UAB “Dermofaktorius”, which owns the “Manilla” brand. In addition, there are engineering and advertising companies which have 3D printers and are adapting them to the production of protective face shields. State Enterprise “Nacionalinis kraujo centras” was searching for a supplier of protective face shields and using the database of “www.verslaspriescovid19.lt” they managed to find a company MB “Impressio digiti” which produced and delivered 250 units of shields on the same day. Companies that adapt their competencies and available technologies for the production of new goods have also been joined by telematics company UAB “Teltonika”, which is currently developing a prototype of artificial lung ventilation apparatus. Importers of goods from other business sectors are actively using new opportunities, they are using their supplier’s contacts in China to find the necessary medical equipment.
The first partners have already joined the “Business vs. COVID-19” initiative. The credit bureau “Creditinfo” carries out the assessment of the reliability of all the listed suppliers and manufacturers, ensuring that the companies will fulfil their obligations. There are more and more companies that are ready to help and donate some of the necessary tools to doctors – all of their support is directed to the COVID-19 Mitigation Fund established by the Ministry of Finance and led by President Dalia Grybauskaitė and to “Laisvės TV” initiative “Hold on, medics!”.
Currently, “Enterprise Lithuania” operates as an expert coordination group, collecting business offers and providing them to interested parties – state institutions and publicly publishing information to other potential customers. Businesses can provide information about their ability to produce the necessary tools or provide support on the website “www.verslaspriescovid19.lt” or can send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Information about “Enterprise Lithuania”
VšĮ “Enterprise Lithuania” – Entrepreneurship and export development agency established by the Ministry of Economics and Innovation, which is responsible for promoting entrepreneurship, sustainable and modern business development, startup ecosystem and export.
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%.
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.