Go East for new markets – Lithuanian Apparel and Textile Industry Association

The time has come for Lithuanian producers to start shifting some of their exports to larger and healthier markets. Therefore, an increasing number of Lithuanian industries are pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy in various Eastern markets. Of course, such shift does not come without its challenging tasks.

For instance, insufficient staff training, low investment levels and weak efforts constitute some of the obstacles that Lithuanian companies face when going for their respective expansionary drive.

Linas Lasiauskas, director of the Lithuanian Apparel and Textile Industry Association, introduces us to the challenges ahead, “the companies understand that all costs are growing, that the own-brand product is the only effective way to survival. However, it is difficult to enter Western markets with an own brand for the meantime, it would be easier in Eastern markets. The middle generation of consumers there still remembers Lithuanian products as a benchmark of quality. And it is not only Russia or CIS countries. Lithuania could eye the US, China, Arab countries. These markets would enable us to offset the risks posed by the stagnation in the EU”, stated the pragmatic director.

According to Mr. Lasiauskas, for some time before, Lithuania did not seem to care much about expanding into these markets but now expectations and attitudes are slowly changing. “The Eastern markets are less safe, they are risky and there is no strong support to promote exports to the East. We believe that it could be useful to establish an analogue of the Lithuanian export and import insurance agency, which operated more than a decade ago. It would be a governmental agency providing guarantees for export credit insurance,” Mr. Lasiauskas concluded.