Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic States. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million as of 2013, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius.
Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, and Latvian are the only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. Lithuania’s climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Lithuania has a total land area of 65,300km2(25,212 sq. mi).
On January 1, 2015, Lithuania became the 19th country to adopt the euro. Lithuania is a member of the European Union and the biggest economy among the three Baltic States. Lithuania has a GDP of $82,622 with per capita of $28,210.
The service sector accounts for the largest share of GDP. One of the most important sub-sectors is information and communication technologies (ICT).
Lithuania has over 50% of the world’s market for high-energy picosecond lasers, and is a global leader in producing ultra-fast parametric light generators.Lithuanian laser companies were among the first ones in the world to transfer fundamental research into manufacturing. Lithuania’s laser producers export laser technologies and devices to nearly 100 countries.
Studies of broadband Internet show that Lithuania has the fastest Internet in the world, and is one of the leading countries in terms of service quality.
11 out of 20 biggest IT companies from Baltic countries are based in Lithuania. Lithuania exported 31% of its IT services in the first quarter of 2009.
Development of shared services and business process outsourcing are some of the most promising fields. Research company Datamonitor forecasted a 60% personnel growth by 2009. Companies that have outsourced their business operations to Lithuania include Barclays, CITCO Group, MIRROR, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Anthill, and Ernst & Young.
Tourism is becoming increasingly important for Lithuania’s economy, constituting around 3% of GDP in 2008.
Lithuania receives more than 2.2 million foreign tourists a year, the most valuable natural resource in Lithuania is subterranean water, which constitutes more than a half of the total value of natural resources.
The total value of natural resources in Lithuania reaches LTL 58 billion (EUR 16.8 billion) or 50% of Lithuania’s GDP in 2008.