Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius: Lithuanian companies are ready to propose exceptional solutions for US defence industry

Date

2018 04 03

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‘Lithuanian high-tech companies are prepared to propose exceptional technology solutions for the US defence industry and this needs to be unlocked’, says Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius currently visiting the US. Along with a national business delegation representing defence industry he is introducing Lithuania’s defence industry potential and possible cooperation trends.

‘We see the US as one of the most promising export markets for the defence industry because the interest is bilateral: US companies show their willingness to cooperate with business partners in Lithuania and our business is able to propose specific niche products and high technology solutions for the US defence sector’, said the Minister Sinkevičius.

The Minister considers that the defence industry spectrum has a very broad range from innovative uniforms to information technology systems, robotics and other high technology production. Lithuania has strong niche technology developing enterprises, especially in the area of laser technology, which is important for the defence industry. The semiconductor laser company Brolis Semiconductors manufacturing optical devices, laser sights and other equipment for the military or UAB Polimaster Europe already exporting radiation measurement devices to the US are some of them.

Other Lithuanian companies working in the field of defence and engineering industry, including multi-purpose machinery repair and maintenance, spare parts and components production, transportation of  heavy machinery, construction, equipment and  maintenance of camps, all types of logistic services, cyber security, etc. also have a considerable potential.

Together with the Minister of Economy representatives from the Lithuanian Defence and Security Industry Association, Brother Semiconductors, NRD Cyber Security,  Polimaster Europe  and Cellular Expert, which is a subsidiary of  HNIT-Baltic, are visiting the US. During the visit, a number of meetings of Minister Sinkevičiaus and Lithuanian business representatives with the US defence industry and the US National Defence Industry Association representatives have been planned. The situation and potential of Lithuania’s defence sector will be presented in detail during the Baltic Business Forum to be held on Tuesday in Washington. The US Baltic Business Forum in Washington is held in response to the US Lithuanian Defence Forum which was held in March of this year in Vilnius.

Lithuania is a leader among the Baltic countries in terms of cooperation with the US in the area of defence industry: in recent years, purchases of the Lithuanian army from US producers and exports of Lithuanian defence companies to the US keep increasing.

The US is the second largest market for Lithuania’s high-tech producers. Last year, high added-value products for a value of EUR 84,1 million were exported to the US, which made 9.4 per cent of the total Lithuanian exports of high-tech goods. Compared to 2016, the value of such product exports almost doubled.

Based on calculations of analysts from public body Enterprise Lithuania the US market plays an important role in the life sciences, laser, engineering, defence sectors. In 2017, the high-tech products exported to the US included arms (26 per cent), optical radiation devises(15,7 per cent), antiserums, vaccines (15,3 per cent), lasers (7,5 per cent), telescopic sights (6 per cent), machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data (5,5 per cent).

The total value of the export of goods of Lithuanian origin to the US  amounted to EUR 1,2 billion in 2017 and the US ranked 3rd in terms of the size of Lithuanian exports markets. The major share of exports (67.1 per cent) was made of mineral fuels, 8.4 per cent  —  of furniture,  4.2 per cent — of various chemical products, 3.7 per cent — of optical, measuring instruments and medical devices and 2 per cent — of electrical equipment of and parts thereof.