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Current pulse of the country: Industry, Business, Tourism
Everything manufactured in Lithuania prior to 1990 was to be presented to the world under the label "Made in USSR". It goes without saying that all intellectual and material production is now labelled "Made in Lithuania".
Following 1991, Lithuania's ties with the former empire did not break off immediately, and a major portion of the trade turnover continued with Russia and the other CIS Countries. Only in 1995 did the balance tip, with imports from the CIS countries amounting only to 37.6%, and 41.5% of imports coming from the EU.
Currently, Lithuania is developing rapidly and has a negative foreign trade balance, with less being exported than imported. In addition, more is exported to the East than to the West.
Lithuania's largest trade partners, Russia and Germany, are determined quite simply by geography.
The national currency unit, the litas (LTL) was introduced on the 25th of June 1993. Based on the Currency Board model, the litas was "tied" to the dollar at an exchange rate of 4:1. This helped to curb the hyperinflation which had reached 1,163% in the course of 1992. In 1995, inflation dropped to 35%. A record low inflation was established in the summer 1996, with the inflation rate dropping to 0% in August.
Speedy restructuring of the economy is one of the most prominent characteristics of current Lithuania. An economy, which barely five years ago had been administered by the state, is completing its transition to private and mixed ownership. Currently, approximately 3/4 of the economy is in the private sector. Joint ventures, of which there are already over 4000, are prevalent.
Currently, industry produces only 20% of GDP. The textile and electronics industries have grown during the past year. Meanwhile various service facilities, services, transport and tourism account for over 60% of GDP.
Tourism constitutes one of the fastest developing business trends. Currently, there are over 370 firms involved in tourism officially registered in Lithuania.
Vilnius University, Central Building. Photo by S. Platukis.
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