The City of Vilnius’ Tourism and Business Agency, Go Vilnius, has been awarded the best strategy for promoting foreign investment in the city at the International News and Analysis Centre’s Emerging Europe Awards. The city was also named the second most friendly city in the region and earned second place in the tourism category for last summer’s G-Spot of Europe marketing campaign. The awards, which are aimed at evaluating the best projects in Europe, attracted around 1,000 applications from various organisations, with 120 nominees competing in 14 categories.
“Over the past years, Vilnius has managed to gain more and more attention and visibility, as evidenced by the significant valuations it has earned and the growing interest among investors in the city, as well as the companies and specialists coming here to carry out their activities. These results would be impossible to achieve without the purposeful and focused work of various institutions, as well as the strengths of Vilnius: an attractive environment for business, especially in the field of technology; an orientation towards international cooperation, and a focus on attracting specialists,“ says Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius.
“This rating is very important for us because it distinguishes Vilnius from other Central and Eastern European cities, and helps attract the attention of foreign investors even more. In addition, it is a confirmation that our business strategy is both effective and oriented in a manner that accounts for our top of mind priorities,” says Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė.
Investors appreciate personal attention
According to Romanovskienė, the key point of the strategy to promote foreign investment is the focus on the main sectors that investors are attracted to. These include the FinTech, Information Technology (e.g. game development and cyber security), biotechnology, and laser sectors. “Investors appreciate that Vilnius distinguishes itself with the strategic and focused work of various institutions, a progressive regulatory environment, and an active business community,” maintains Romanovskienė.
Romanovskienė also points out that one of the challenges for Vilnius was the integration of foreign talents, which became the top priority in the 2018 investment attraction strategy. Tools like the Vilnius Relocation Guide and the regular Welcome to Vilnius workshops were created for this purpose, and help facilitate the establishment of foreigners in Lithuania’s capital. Foreign companies value this support in attracting a skilled workforce, as well as the fact that Go Vilnius pays a lot of attention to continuous communication with investors by consulting, evaluating the current situation, helping to solve problems, and identifying areas for improvement.
The G-Spot campaign has also been evaluated
The Emerging Europe Awards also recognised Vilnius in the field of tourism. The city’s 2018 Vilnius – the G-Spot of Europe advertising campaign ranked second in the category of best tourism campaigns of the year, with first place going to an advertising campaign created by Estonia.
Vilnius – the G-Spot of Europe attracted the attention of various global media outlets to the capital of Lithuania and sparked a dialogue not only about the advertising itself, but also about Vilnius as a travel destination. Vilnius appeared on the pages of the most solid publications in the UK, France and other countries, as well as on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which has millions of fans around the world.
Over 110,000 people from around the world – especially the United Kingdom, Germany, and the US – visited www.vilniusgspot.com throughout the campaign period, and Google searches for Vilnius increased by over 300%. The campaign also received a lot of attention on social networks and as soon as Go Vilnius launched the advertisement, one of the world’s most prestigious advertising magazines, Lürzer’s Archive, declared it the best weekly advertising in the world.
The Emerging Europe Awards also rated the agency Invest Lithuania, and awarded it the title of best national investment attraction agency of the year.
Based in the UK, Emerging Europe is a platform for knowledge and communication that promotes regional and global collaboration. Established in 2013, the organisation hands out its awards annually to highlight the best country, city initiatives and projects, and to share best practices between 23 European countries. The award winners were announced at the meeting of the heads of “Emerging Europe“ in London, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
According to Invest Lithuania and fDi Markets, the City of Vilnius attracted more than 40 projects last year, creating more than 3,000 jobs.