Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois opened a new office of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) in Vilnius on Tuesday.
Flanders Investment and Trade office in Vilnius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The representation, based in the Lithuanian capital, will cover Latvia and Estonia as well.

Cooperation between Flanders, the predominantly Dutch-speaking region of northern Belgium, and Lithuania started exactly 20 years ago.

“By opening a Flanders Investment & Trade office in Vilnius for the Baltic states, Flanders sends out a clear message on the growing importance of the region for the Flemish economy. As a result of their strategic position at the Baltic Sea, the various seaports play an important role for the Flemish ports. Moreover, the region presents itself as an economic gateway to other countries in North East Europe,” Mr. Bourgeois said in a statement.

In 2015, Flemish exports to the 3 Baltic states totalled €1.28 billion. Lithuania is the most important market (€700 million), followed by Latvia (€335 million) and Estonia (€245 million). Flemish exports to Lithuania grew by a fifth over the last decade, 1.57 times to Latvia and 58% to Estonia.

Flanders accounts for 88% of Belgian exports to Lithuania, 90% to Latvia and 83% to Estonia.

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