Eurasian chemical market

Lithuania. Not the Biggest Player, but…

     Prior to the global financial crisis, Lithuania had been a stable country with a growing economy. The EU membership encouraged its economic development. Proximity to the CIS countries made for available sources of raw materials. The geographical position enabled the country to deliver chemicals to the markets of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States in the shortest possible time. A well-developed infrastructure, including the sea port of Klaipeda, and a favourable investment climate contributed to the improvement of the chemical industry’s competitiveness. However, today the main socio-economic indicators testify to the general downturn observed in the country. In Q1, 2009, the unemployment rate amounted to 11.9%, and the GDP experienced a 13.6% decline on a YOY basis. In April 2009, industrial production plummeted by 25.5% as compared with the corresponding period last year. Over the Jan.-Apr. span, exports suffered from a significant decrease of 29.3% year-over-year. Indeed, in 2009, Lithuania has been affected by the world financial crisis, as was acknowledged by its newly elected president Dalia Grybauskaite.
     Nevertheless, due to the above-mentioned advantages, Lithuania stands a good chance of overcoming the negative consequences of the global crisis. Of course, hard work is ahead of it. In particular, the Lithuanian chemical industry must still do a lot to realise its full potential. Its one-sided structure and negative external balance, a short supply of raw materials, a lack of R&D centres, which can provide the industry with essential technologies (except for biotechnological R&D companies), are the main issues to be solved.
This article offers an in-depth review of the Lithuanian chemical industry, including its core sectors and key players…

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