At the end of January, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the new update of the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI), which contains information on regulatory changes that affect trade in services in 44 countries. According to the document, Lithuania is among the top regulatory performers. The top ten countries with the most open markets for services trade are Latvia, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Lithuania, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.
At the Eleventh World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC11) on 11 December in Buenos Aires, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius met with the Director-General of the WTO Roberto Azevêdo and noted that Lithuania strongly believed that multilateral trade rules were beneficial and dedicated special attention to their implementation.
On 16 November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius continued his visit to Singapore and met with Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Osman Maliki to discuss topical issues of the regional and global political agenda and cooperation in multilateral formats. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of expanding political dialogue, intensifying relations in the fields of science and innovation, and invited the Foreign Minister Balakrishnan to visit Lithuania. Linkevičius also called for the appointment of Singapore’s Honorary Consul in Lithuania.
On 21 September 2017 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada entered into force provisionally. It is one of the most ambitious EU free trade agreements that will open the Canadian market with its population of 35 million to Lithuanian exporters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania supports the United Nations Security Council resolution of September 11 on additional sanctions against North Korea.
On 6 September in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the member of the Japanese Parliament House of Councillors and the Chairman of Japan-Lithuania Friendship Diet Members’ League Hirofumi Nakasone.
On 31 August in Ottawa, the Ambassador of Lithuania to Canada Darius Pranckevičius presented his letters of credence to the Governor General of Canada David Johnston. During the ceremony, the officials discussed their mutual resolve to develop relations between Lithuania and Canada in addressing important issues on the bilateral and international agenda. The interlocutors also reviewed new opportunities in the areas of investment and trade that would open up in the near future upon the provisional application of the new trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA).
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius congratulated the Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj and the Republic of Korea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha on national holidays of these countries.
On 27 July in Ottawa, Canada, Lithuania’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Albinas Zananavičius met with the Deputy Minister for International Trade of Canada Timothy Sargent to discuss prospects for bilateral trade and closer economic cooperation.
At the meeting between Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, in Vilnius on 8 June, emphasis was on perfect political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries, mutual wish to develop them further, and a common approach to many EU and NATO matters. The members of the cabinets of ministers also discussed EU internal and external policies, regional security, progress in Lithuania’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In the Baltic Investors Forum’s discussion ‘Europe – preparations for a geopolitical tsunami?’, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius together with Dr. George Friedman, one of the world’s foremost geopolitical analysts, and the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs Olivier Onida discussed regional and global geopolitical challenges as well as their impact at the national and global levels.
On the second day of his visit to Oman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Minister of Commerce and Industry of Oman Ali bin Masoud bin Ali al Sunaidy and discussed opportunities for bilateral economic cooperation, and plans to tap more efficiently into the existing potential.
On 17 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Fukuyama Shigehiro Komaru. The Consul is the President of one of the largest logistics companies in Japan – Fukuyama Transporting. Komaru came to Lithuania accompanied by a large delegation of entrepreneurs.
“Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry has always been open to cooperation with business organizations and strives to make it more consistent, continuous and beneficial not only to businesses, but also to all Lithuanian citizens,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius in a meeting with members of the American Chamber of Commerce.
On 2 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with members of the U.S. business delegation visiting Lithuania and representatives of the American-Lithuanian Business Council (ALBC), discussed opportunities for the development of Lithuania-U.S. economic relations.