“If these (labor-related) indicators were good, we could see Lithuania at number 10-12 worldwide. We have to think about progress when it comes to increasing our country’s competitiveness,” he told the Žinių Radijas radio station on Thursday morning.
The Social Democratic leader was commenting on the latest global competitiveness rankings published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday.
Lithuania moved up one position in this year’s index to number 35, from 36th place last year. However, the country ranks as low as 116th in the world for hiring and firing practices, 111th for its capacity to attract talent and 106th for its capacity to retain talent, and 105th for redundancy costs.
Butkevičius said, among other things, that the government expected to assess recently-proposed amendments to the new Labor Code within a week and that the parliament would likely pass them in mid-October.
The prime minister has promised trade unions that the Labour Code will be improved.
The Seimas passed the Labour Code in June, but President Dalia Grybauskaitė several weeks later vetoed the package because of “an imbalance” between the interests of employers and employees.
Employers’ organizations and economists welcomed the adoption of the Labour Code, but trade unions were opposed to the new regulation of labor relations, saying that it failed to protect employees’ interests.
The parliament earlier this month overrode the presidential veto.