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Bilateral linkages with Lithuania are limited. There is a small Lithuanian community centred in Auckland. As small nations, New Zealand and Lithuania share interests in common. New Zealand’s bilateral relationship with Lithuania is friendly with the President of Lithuania having made a State visit to New Zealand in February 2006. The Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Lithuania in 2004. There is room to develop the relationship in terms of people to people links and cooperation at the multilateral level.
New Zealand and Lithuania are nearing the conclusion of negotiations on a Working Holiday Scheme, which would allow young people to holiday, work and study in each other’s countries for up to a year.
There are opportunities to increase cooperation between our countries on science, research and technology through FRENZ (Facilitating Research Cooperation between Europe and New Zealand). New Zealand’s Agreement on Scientific and Technological Research with the EU also helps to facilitate research cooperation with Lithuania under the auspices of the EU research Framework Programme. One area for cooperation could be biotechnology for example in our agricultural and forestry sectors. The potential for university exchanges of academics and students between our two countries is another area that warrants further consideration.
Lithuania is engaged in Afghanistan with the Lithuanian PRT present in Ghor Province, neighbouring Bamyan.
Our bilateral trade relationship is modest (total two way trade is $33.2 mn for calendar year 2012). It remains to be seen whether Lithuania's role as an entry point for Russia and a potential gateway to the Baltic region offers opportunities for New Zealand's exporters.
Land Area: 65,300 square kilometres
Population: 3 million (2013)
Capital City: Vilnius
Language: Lithuanian is the official language, although Russian is widely understood
Political system: Parliamentary Democracy, although
the President plays an important role in foreign policy.
National government: Four-party centre-left coalition centred on the Social Democratic Party and the Labour Party .
National legislature: Unicameral Parliament, the Seimas, of 141 members
Last election: May 2009 (President), October 2012 (Parliament)
Next election due: October 2014 (Parliament), May 2016 (President)
Head of State: President Dalia Grybauskaite (since May 2009)
Head of Government: PM Algirdas Butkevičius (elected 2012)
GDP: US$41 billion
Real GDP growth: 2.7%
Main exports:Mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals.
NZ Exports (FOB):NZ$14 million
Main Exports: Wool, fish, wine, machinery
NZ Imports(CIF): NZ$19.2 million
Main Imports:Fertilizers, rope and twine, plywood
Trade ranking:109th largest trade partner
The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Lithuania [external link].