Survey: approaching Brexit is not discouraging Lithuanian exporters

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“With the United Kingdom leaving the EU sooner than in two months, business ambitions are not decreasing though – during first three quarters of the last year, the export of goods of Lithuanian origin into the United Kingdom increased by more than 6 per cent. Such findings of the survey and statistics, on one hand, are pleasing, but on the other hand, they are disturbing, because business needs to get ready and clearly understand and assess the upcoming changes. The trade relations between the EU Member States and the United Kingdom are set to change at the end of March, and business conditions will differ from the present ones. There is a risk that Brexit will come unexpectedly to us and export-related expectations may not be realistic. According to our calculations, significant number of companies already working with the British market have no experience of exporting to third countries, among which the United Kingdom will find itself if the ‘no-deal Brexit scenario’, which is getting more real, will come true,” said Vadimas Ivanovas, Head of Research and Analysis Division of Enterprise Lithuania.

The survey of Enterprise Lithuania shows that the most pursued export countries by Lithuanian exporters for the period of 2019–2020 are Germany (18 per cent of all respondents), the United Kingdom (10 per cent), China (9 per cent), Sweden (8 per cent), and the United States (8 per cent). The ten most pursued foreign markets also include Nordic countries, Russia, Japan.

According to the survey, last year nearly half of the Lithuanian exporters using export development services provided by Enterprise Lithuania entered new markets. The main new foreign market for Lithuanian companies was the United States (16 per cent), closely followed by Germany (12 per cent), the United Kingdom (12 per cent), France (9 per cent), and Latvia (9 per cent). Speaking about distant markets, 7 per cent of respondents said that they started to export to Japan and South Korea, respectively, 6 per cent to China, 4 per cent to Taiwan.

According to nearly two thirds of Enterprise Lithuania clients, services related to export development that are provided by the agency helped them to improve their export results. Every seventh company stated that with the help of Enterprise Lithuania they concluded contracts with foreign clients. The average of such contracts reached EUR 385 000 last year, i.e. ten times more than in 2017, while the value of concluded contracts varied from EUR 40 000 up to 5 million euros.

“Participation with the national stand in international exhibitions, incoming or outgoing business missions, B2B trade fairs and business forums organised by Enterprise Lithuania is highly valuable for Lithuanian exporters for establishment of business contacts. The first face-to-face contact can be a bridge straight to negotiations on trial order and its consignment, later growing into a long-term cooperation. We are happy to respond to the demand voiced in the poll regarding the database of export contacts – together with the Lithuanian diplomatic missions we provide a service of search for contact details of up to five potential foreign partners,” said Aivaras Knieža, Head of Export Department of Enterprise Lithuania.

This year, Enterprise Lithuania is organising the national stands of Lithuanian life science, automotive, lasers, food, interior design, furniture in international exhibitions in the USA, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan. Beside international exhibitions and missions, Enterprise Lithuania is regularly organising a series of events Export Club about different foreign markets, offering specialised marketing and brand training-workshops BrandLAB.

The customer satisfaction survey of Enterprise Lithuania was conducted by market research company RAIT in December 2018 – January 2019.

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