Moving to Lithuania
Lithuania has a very high human development index, making this EU nation an ideal place for expats looking to move into Europe. Considered as the largest of the three Baltic States, Lithuania covers an area of 25,200 square miles. The country has a mild climate, ranging between maritime and continental.
Investors in Lithuania expect the economy to remain robust amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine are members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). According to the Association Investors’ Forum, 43% of foreign companies in Lithuania “expect that demand for their production will increase” in the second quarter of 2014. Companies are also projected to increase the number of jobs by 37%.
The Lithuanian economy is thriving to shift towards sustainable industries such as information technology, biotechnology and mechatronics. The EU state is currently the centre of industrial and diagnostic biotechnology in the Baltic region. Some of the jobs in high-technology sectors include Research & Development (R&D) managers, food technologists, research scientists, laboratory technicians and product design engineers.
A number of multinational companies operate in Lithuania, most of which are based in the capital city of Lithuania. British bank Barclays opened its Technology Centre in 2009 while money transfer company Western Union established a European Regional Operating Centre in 2011. Société Générale, Phillip Morris, GlaxoSmithKline and United Colors of Benetton also have offices and factories across the country.
The cost of living in Lithuania is relatively lower compared to other European states. Its price level can be closely associated with those in Latin America. Aside from cheaper goods and services, the country has the lowest tax rate in the EU at 15% - personal and corporate tax rates. However, income levels in the Baltic state are relatively low. When compared to US rates, the average annual wage in Lithuania is USD $4,686. A typical worker in the US earns USD $15,080 each year, based on 2009 prices. The hourly rate in Lithuania is USD $2.25, way below the USD $7.25 across the US.
Healthcare in Lithuania is one of the most affordable in Europe. The country provides free medical care, including ambulatory services, for all citizens and permanent residents. State-funded health care centres offer outpatient services including general practice, maternity and child care, and dental care. A wide range of specialist services is also available in hospitals and clinics in all major towns and cities.Many expats, however, prefer private insurance coverage that guarantees better services at lower costs.
Lithuania’s top clinics and hospitals are located in the Kaunas, Panevėžys, Šiauliai and the capital city of Vilnius. The largest hospitals in the country include Panevėžys Hospital, Šiauliai Hospital, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kaunas Clinics, Kaunas Red Cross Hospital, Republican Children's Hospital, Vilnius Red Cross Hospital, and Vilnius University Hospital.
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