Lithuania hopes for further growth of the fintech sector and is open to investors from all countries, including China, the country's Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka says.
Vilius Šapoka
© DELFI / Josvydas Elinskas

"We're open for all countries. We expect our fintech sector to grow," he told a press conference of the Central and Eastern Europe and China 17+1 format forum in Vilnius.

"Lithuania is an open economy but when I say that we are very open, I also mention that our requirements are the same for everybody," he added.

Vitas Vasiliauskas, board chairman of the central Bank of Lithuania, said Chinese companies come in second in Lithuanian in terms of the number of e-money licenses they have, overtaken only by the UK. He noted, however, that China and Lithuania's positions on risk management differ in some aspects.

"Of course we have differences, especially in understanding personal data, but they are very natural because we have different traditions, different systems, different governments," he said.

Meanwhile Sapoka paid attention to the fact that regulation standards for the financial sector are fairly similar across the world.

"But the aim of our discussion is to concentrate on common challenges and to share the best practices and to exchange our ideas. Lithuania is going to become not only fintech hub but a center of excellence in risk management," Sapoka said.

Huo Yuzhen, special representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for China for CEEC Cooperation, praised Lithuania for setting fintech as the forum's key topic.

"I very much appreciate the move by Lithuania under the framework of 17+1 cooperation to choose such a forward looking topic, financial technology, as subject matter of our forum. Financial technology is one of the issues of core relevance for ordinary people. It provides possibilities things to do things we cannot avoid doing. In other words, it mitigates risks and provides greater convenience and services," she said.

Lithuania is hosting the top-level 17+1 forum for the first time, with representatives of the Finance Ministries and central banks from Central and Eastern European countries in attendance. China is also represented by Zhu Hexin, an executive vice president of the Bank of China, as well as participants of China's financial market.

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