Vilnius is celebrating its 700th year since its foundation by being named one of the 25 most promising cities in the world for the first time. This is thanks to a significant contribution of businesses operating in the city and the EU investment provided by the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) for the implementation of their projects.

The capital received the new ranking last year, as announced in the Global Cities of the Future ranking produced by the fDi Intelligence, the investment expert division of the Financial Times (FT). Vilnius, which ranks 24th, is the only city in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.  

The FT ranking is based on attracting foreign investment, economic performance and business development. The LBSA’s data show that the lion’s share of the Agency’s funded projects is concentrated in the capital, both in terms of the number of projects and the EU investment allocated to them.

According to the Agency’s data, 1,218 projects were completed or under implementation in Vilnius during the 2014–2020 EU financial period, with EU subsidies of more than EUR 566 million. More than 800 applications have been approved under last year’s calls.

Most projects are business projects, while research and experimental development (R&D) accounts for half of all investment.
‘The concentration of business in the capital explains the large number of successful projects. The Agency’s support has boosted the growth of some areas suppressed by the pandemic, strengthened the competitiveness of many companies, and given “wings” to bold ideas’, says Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA.

According to him, be it innovation, digitisation of production processes, development of tourism or new design – all projects create added value. ‘Therefore, it is nice to see Vilnius becoming more modern and to know that the LBSA has also contributed to that progress’, says Merkys, congratulating the capital on its birthday.

A total of 25 tourism projects have been completed or are underway in the capital, with almost EUR 13 million in EU investment, and 55 energy projects have received more than EUR 196 million in funding.

The largest share of the EU investment portfolio goes to R&D projects, with EUR 274 million allocated to 421 projects; the total value of R&D contracts exceeds EUR 450 million.  

Meanwhile, the largest number of projects financed in the field of business was 717, with funding amounting to EUR 83 million. A further 782 applications have been approved.  

The anniversary begins today
Tonight, the story of the capital city, ‘The Legend of Vilnius 700 Years’, will be told in an unusual way – with a spectacular show of fire, lights and music. On the occasion of the 700th birthday, balloons will add charm to the event – not on the air, but on the ground.

Vilnius residents and guests will see the lighting of the jubilee clock – the celebration will be started by a 4.5-metre-tall light man, a clockmaker who will light a symbolic clock counting down the days until the Vilnius jubilee.   
Experts, guides and historians have created fun routes for adults and children in the orientation game ‘Vilnius 700 Legend: Get to know it’.  

Birthday celebrations in the capital will take place 25–30 January.

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