Having relocated Hanner holding to Estonia two years ago, Lithuanian billionaire Arvydas Avulis says that it is not unusual for companies successfully operating in Lithuania to be looking into expanding their businesses beyond the Lithuanian borders or completely relocating them.
Arvydas Avulis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

According to Avulis, while business environment in Lithuania is positive, it is likely that more of his businesses will be relocated abroad in the future. “I have already registered around 20 companies abroad, yet only one of them has caught the media’s attention,” comments Avulis when questioned at the recent World Lithuanian Youth Summit about Hanner holding’s relocation to Estonia.

Avulis explained that he had been doing business in Lithuania for the past 24 years, but at some point he felt a drive to invest outside the country: “Realising that I have accrued a substantial amount of capital, I started looking into other potential locations for investment”. Avulis made his first investment in foreign markets back in 2005; since then he has been operating in Latvia, Russia, Romania and Ukraine.

“Once you make the first move into other markets, you realise a need for a clear structure. We have long been looking into this and planning how to do this (invest abroad) in a rational and secure way. It was then that we realised that the market conditions for registering a holding in Lithuania were not very attractive, while they are very positive for conducting business”, outlines Avulis.

He is convinced that one of the main reasons for exploring foreign markets is a relatively small size of the internal market in Lithuania.

“We only have one problem – there are only 3 million people in the country, while the number of potential retail market investors is large. In this situation one can either accept the competition or start exploring other markets. Once you move into an outside market and you are successful, you realise that it is possible to make business elsewhere, not only in Moscow and Kiev, but also New York and London,” Avulis shares his experiences, adding that “if the right opportunities come along, there will be companies registered in London, Berlin and elsewhere”.

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