The Lithuanian business offers solutions to save the country’s finances

In the light of the ongoing economic crisis and changes made to the Lithuanian tax regime from the start of 2009, ten organisations, LFMI among them, staged a Lithuanian Business Forum “Can we Bear an Even Heavier State Burden? A Strategy for the State’s Survival.” In several recent months, the Lithuanian business community clearly saw that the country’s taxpayers could no longer bear the burden of an inefficiently-run public sector and perceived the need for rallying public, political and creative societal forces so that by conducting reforms and economising budget revenues the country was piloted out of the hazardous economic and financial situation. These circumstances served as the background for initiating a business forum which aimed at presenting indispensible and urgent solutions which would help fight the country’s problems so that the state-pursued policy dovetailed business abilities and provided the expected benefits to society.
The forum was organised by the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Investors’ Forum, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, the Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation, the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, Chamber of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian National Road Carriers’ Association Linava, and the Lithuanian Association of Hotels and Restaurants.
The organisers of the forum have evaluated the existing economic situation, signed a resolution and submitted it to government representatives, inviting authorities to implement the solutions proposed and to inform society about their implementation.

The resolution contains over 20 proposals on what and when must be done in public administration, healthcare, education and science and social security systems seeking to help the country survive the ongoing crisis.

Participants of the forum were received at high political level
On March 23, participants of the business forum took part in a meeting with Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Arūnas Valinskas where they submitted specific recommendations on how to trim budget expenditures. The Speaker of the Parliament put forth a proposal that the initiators of the forum form a task force which would aim at analysing the most pressing issues and generating solutions. According to him, this would help adopt decisions at a more rapid pace, while the decisions adopted would satisfy the needs of all parties.

On April 1, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius initiated the Cabinet’s meeting with the members of the business forum. During the meeting, the business leaders stressed that specific business sectors need specific urgent measures and urged the Government to implement them without delay. Prime Minister Kubilius suggested that regular meetings were held between the organisers of the forum and the Cabinet members where concrete problems would be debated. During the meeting, LFMI’s President Rūta Vainienė submitted the signed resolution to Minister of Finance Algirdas Šemeta and Minister of Healthcare Algis Čaplikas.