BREAKTHROUGH STRAREGY. Klaipėda Chose Blue Economy and Fast Solutions


25 thousand new jobs, 2 000 new companies, 1.5 billion EUR of new investments, 200 % export growth, a 40 thousand increase in Klaipėda’s population, doubling salaries and 400 thousand tourists – this is Klaipėda’s ambition for economic breakthrough by 2030.
Klaipėda was the first in Lithuania to choose the strategy of developing blue economy. The joint team, consisting of representatives from Klaipėda municipality, the port, science, industry and business, consultants, as well as more than 300 professionals from various fields picked the major directions and economic specialisation for the city’s development. Klaipėda decided to take the path of blue breakthrough and has set a goal of becoming a city of blue economy and fast global-level solutions.

The goal of turning back the wave of emigration

During the preparation of the strategy the partners were consulted by Ernst & Young Baltic, who prepared the scenarios of Klaipėda’s economic modelling and development. According to Oxford Economics econometric forecasting, in twelve years Klaipėda’s population could shrink to a mere 126 thousand citizens (there were 154 thousands in 2016), unless some ground-breaking action is taken. It would bring dramatic results on all levels.
‘Together with our partners we decided that the scenario of thinning population and vegetation doesn’t fit our city. We chose an ambitious way of economic breakthrough. Our goal is to create better conditions for business, provide our citizens with better conditions of career-making and earning competitive salaries, as well as become a reliable and progressive partner for our investors. We want to turn Klaipėda into the best place to live, work and invest in the Baltic region.’ says Vytautas Grubliauskas, Mayor of Klaipėda city.
The municipality, the port, business and science is engaged in proactive work to find the best and most efficient solutions for the development of the city’s economy in order to help Klaipėda turn back the wave of emigration. Klaipėda 2030 strategic measures are focused on attracting industrial and new investments that create high added value, improving work efficiency, ensuring competitive salaries, as well as cooperation between science and business in developing industrial and engineering training programmes, which would help retain the youth and educate new professionals according to the market needs.
More than 100 measures, indicated in the strategy and the action plan, will be implemented by a team of partners – Klaipėda Municipality Administration, Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, Klaipėda University, Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) Management Company, the Association of Klaipėda’s Industrialists, as well as Klaipėda Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts.

United strategic partners

Klaipėda 2030 is a strategy of compromises, developed for the purpose of cooperation and unity between the city’s strategic sectors in order to achieve common goals. Namely the city’s common vision and agreement regarding its economic development is regarded as the greatest value.
‘Knowing the city’s common economic vision and taking fast, focused and coordinated action together with the entire community is crucial in modelling the directions of attracting new investors. The latter is a result of a joint work and some of the incoming projects will depend not only on the effort of the free economic zone, but also the decisions that our partners make. Therefore, I am truly glad that the Municipality Administration resolved to initiate this dialogue and did not hesitate to include the business community. Now together we must think of the new technology, modern production and prepare to compete for the new fields of industry, where we can offer our greatest knowledge and experience – plastics, metal processing, electronic car components, logistic chain management and technological solutions. This will raise the citizen’s salaries and create an opportunity for them to come back.’ says Eimantas Kiudulas, CEO of Klaipėda FEZ – the most successful free economic zone in the Baltic region.
During the preparation of Klaipėda’s strategy for economic breakthrough, the experts of Ernst & Young Baltic stated that the process of preparing the strategy and measures was exceptional and there was no precedent of such a well-structured process, which would involve all responsible parties, in Lithuania before. According to experts, Lithuanian authorities keep referring to Klaipėda 2030 as an exemplary innovative practice of modern management.
Klapėda 2030 economic development strategy has already been noticed abroad. It was included into the Top 10 best city foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion strategies at Emerging Europe Awards for Central and Eastern European growth in 2017.

The city opens its economic specialisation

So far regarded as a city of rather narrow specialisation, focusing on the port and logistics, Klaiėda decided to expand and develop fields of high added value in order to compete with Vilnius, Kaunas, as well as Northern and Eastern European regions.
‘In order to move forward we must not only create a counter-balance for Vilnius-Kaunas metropolitan area, but also become an attractive location for investments, various fields of industry and business specialisations. The strategy and the model for interinstitutional-business-science cooperation is already becoming an impulose and basis for the development of the entire Klaipėda region.’ says the Mayor of Klaipėda city.
Klaipėda’s Economic Development Strategy for 2030 features four priority directions. The city will strengthen and develop marine economy, bioeconomy, advanced industrial economy, as well as creative industries’ and service economy. In order to make the development of these directions possible, the city will also invest into three priority fields: creating favourable conditions for business, investors and talents, developing an innovative education system, which meets the needs of tomorrow’s economy, seeking to turn Klaipėda into an attractive, engaging and accessible centre of the region.
Some of the major works that have been already launched or will be in the near future include attracting new flights to Palanga, new ferry lines to Sweden and Germany, as well as opening an international school. Klaipėda ID, working on Klaipėda’s economic development has been successfully transformed into a multifunctional service centre for business, investors and talents. The priority measures include gathering bioeconomy and marine clusters developing a business accelerator and creating a team, responsible for attracting smart-city robotics solutions at Klaipėda City Municipality Administration. A huge attention will be focused on high quality of public services and fast solutions – working with the city’s marketing and developing the range of one-stop or online municipality services in order to ensure the investors’ fast and convenient settlement in Klaipėda.

Development of priority fields

Klaipėda aims to become the major gate of marine trade in the Eastern Baltics, while the integrated complex of the port, logistics and industry is supposed to service 15 per cent of the cargo of the East coast of the Baltic Sea. The city will also develop the LNG cluster, creating and developing clean LNG technology.
‘I have no doubts that the maximum development of the port with the external port will bring Klaipėda back for a new life. Due to historical circumstances our port is in the city and thus we have to find smart and sustainable ways to use this opportunity. We are Klaipėda citizens and our common goal is to make our city alive and an attractive place to live, work, create and settle for young people. The port’s development may create a unique opportunity for the scientific institutions in Klaipėda – the dialogue between the port and science is especially important.’ says Arvydas Vaitkus, CEO of Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.
Strategic partners will create a bioeconomic cluster, where science and business, working in the fields of chemistry, timber and biotechnology, will be able to cooperate in developing and applying the clean technology and bioproducts, as well as waste management and processing technology.
In terms of bioeconomy, Klaipėda’s scientists will actively participate in the Baltic Sea marine blue technology research programmes. Science and business will cooperate in developing marine biotechnologies and the region’s aquaculture. The strategic partners have also set a goal of becoming a leading Lithuanian region in the use and production of renewable energy.
Klaipėda is planning to develop advanced industry and to become the 4.0 Competence Centre of the region by 2030. The city, the FEZ, as well as associations of industry and business will seek to attract new investors to create technology of high added value – developers and producers of electric, autonomic systems, robots and robotics equipment, as well as LNG technology. Companies established in Klaipėda will create automation solutions for industry, logistics and transport.
In terms of creative and service economy, the strategic partners are planning to turn Klaipėda into the developer of technology and innovations instead of being a consumer of other countries’ solutions. Klaipėda aims to attract foreign service centres, which would provide solutions and ensure IT, engineering and technological functions for logistics and industrial companies. The city will also continue to develop the cluster of creative industries, which will create innovative digital and engineering solutions for Lithuanian and foreign business.
Klaipėda will also aim to establish its positions in the fields of marine and wellness tourism, as well as to become a city of business and conference (MICE) tourism in the East Baltic region.

The detailed Klaipėda 2030: Economic Development Strategy andAction Plan is available online at:


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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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