Viewing cable 07VILNIUS814
Title: TRIP TO REGIONS HIGHLIGHTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07VILNIUS8142007-11-13 12:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0814 3171247
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131247Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1776
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000814 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV LH
SUBJECT: TRIP TO REGIONS HIGHLIGHTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 
 
 
¶1. Ambassador Cloud visited Panevezys and Birzai on November 7 and 
8, meeting with city political leaders, linen and glass companies, 
and a group of NGO leaders. The Ambassador delivered remarks at a 
high school, encouraging the students to consider study 
opportunities in the U.S., toured a local museum and gave two press 
interviews. 
 
¶2. Political leaders detailed economic development plans using EU 
structural funds, including a science and technology park and a new 
electric plant. One mayor indicated some citizens' suspicion of the 
EU funding process, a chronic concern in Lithuania, while another 
mayor expressed concern that the technology park would remain empty 
as a result of companies' interest in hiring only cheap labor. 
Ambassador Cloud pointed out that construction of the Via Baltica, a 
highway corridor through Poland and the Baltics, could attract 
investors and tourists. 
 
¶3. Business and political leaders expressed concern about 
competition with China, particularly in the textile industry, key to 
the region. One mayor expressed disappointment at EU failure to 
follow thru on a promise to address competition with China and 
suggested that the U.S. and Lithuania join efforts. Ambassador 
stressed that the U.S. wants free and fair trade and maintains a 
dialogue with the EU about competition.  One company director 
proposed a solution whereby companies would work to find their own 
niche in the product market and wait out the period of China's 
influence until consumers learned to appreciate quality products 
over mass production. 
 
LEADER