The Financial Times has traditionally presented their fDi Intelligence Expert Department Awards at the world’s largest real estate exhibition, MIPIM, which was held in Cannes. Vilnius was in the spotlight this year as representatives of the publication announced a total of 11 awards for the city. Being ranked among the global leaders in several categories is a great honour for Vilnius, which is now in the top ten for mid-sized cities in terms of investment attractiveness.
“The fact that Vilnius received so many awards confirms that the joint efforts of the City of Vilnius, Lithuania’s national institutions, businesses and scientific organisations to create a progressive city are becoming more and more effective. Vilnius was identified as one of the most attractive cities for investment in the world; this will undoubtedly increase the popularity and appeal of Lithuania’s capital. We are continuously striving to make the city as comfortable as possible for companies and talent who want to settle here,” says Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius.
The awards were handed out in several fDi Intelligence rating categories based on achievements over the course of 2018. Povilas Poderskis, Director the Municipality of Vilnius, was on hand at MIPIM to accept the fDi Intelligence awards on behalf of the city, which are considered a barometer of the attractiveness of cities and regions for investment in the eyes of the international community.
Vilnius in the Top 10
The Financial Times considered Vilnius for the global fDi Intelligence awards for the first time last year. It competed with many cities from around the world for being named the most attractive city for foreign investment and also ranked seventh among the top 10 of Mid-Sized Cities of the Future.
The city’s achievements also brought it recognition in five other categories this year. Vilnius ranked sixth globally in the Friendliness to Business category, ahead of Luxembourg and after Edinburgh, Zurich and Geneva. The capital also ranked seventh in the Connectivity category, and second in the Cost Efficiency category. Vilnius also ranked as one of the top ten cities in the world in terms of Economic Potential, Human Resources and Quality of Life.
Building Effective Strategies
When it came to the fDi Strategy Awards, which are handed out based on investment and economic development, Vilnius was recognised in three categories: Fintech, Gaming and Expat Support.
The panel of experts at the Financial Times evaluated the joint efforts of the city and national authorities to establish a financial technology centre in Vilnius. In the Gaming category, Vilnius was commended thanks to the abundance of game developers operating in the city, its very good wireless connection infrastructure, low establishment costs, and training programmes offered by universities in this area. The experts also evaluated Vilnius for the assistance it provides to foreigners transitioning to the city.
“We strive to make it as convenient as possible for foreign talent and businesses to set up in Vilnius and help them integrate smoothly into life in the city. We created an online guide for those moving to Vilnius, organise workshops for foreigners, and are in frequent contact with foreign companies working in the city. It is wonderful that the rest of the world also appreciates these efforts,” says Inga Romanovskienė, Director of Go Vilnius, the city’s dedicated tourism and business development agency.
Finally, Vilnius also took first place in the latest fDi Intelligence rating, which focuses on Return on Investment when it comes to budget, and placed in the top 10 in in the Personnel Return on Investment category. The purpose of this rating is to assess which of the city’s efforts to increase international competitiveness and attractiveness to investors bring the most tangible benefits.
Vilnius used a catchy slogan, “The best playground in Europe,” throughout the MIPIM exhibition, which was held on 12-15 March. City representatives shared the multitude of advantages Vilnius offers businesses to exhibition participants, including the fact that it’s home to Europe’s largest (1 million square metre) free NT technology testing area, operates with a highly advanced open data policy, is home to a concentration of FinTech companies, provides proactive support for professionals who want to set up in Vilnius, and many others.