Prime Minister Butkevičius: we appreciate excellent relations with the Kingdom of Belgium


2016 01 14


On Thursday morning, at the Office of the Government Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has met with President of the Belgian Senate Christine Defraigne, who is on her visit to Lithuania. In the meeting, bilateral relations have been discussed. The Prime Minister has stressed the interest to strengthen economic cooperation, and has thanked Belgium for its active engagement in NATO’s air-policing mission in the Baltic region. 

“We appreciate excellent political, economic, and cultural relations between Lithuania and Belgium, as well as our sustainable partnership in the European Union and NATO formats. We are particularly grateful for the visibility of your forces in our region, which helps ensure security for all the three Baltic states”, said the Head of Government.   

Belgium has been the first NATO country to guard the airspace over the Baltic states in 2004; later on, it has contributed to the air-policing mission in 2006 and 2013, and in 2015 served in an air-policing mission in Poland. At present, a possibility to send its forces for an exercise to be held in Lithuania this year is discussed; a political agreement is pending.    

Prime Minister Butkevičius has noted that both countries share close economic relations, and Lithuania sees potential in strengthening cooperation in the field of investment. “We would like to invite Belgium companies to invest in Lithuania. I believe that plans to open the Flanders Investment & Trade agency (FIT) office in Lithuania will open new opportunities for the businesses in both countries to get to know each other better”, said the Prime Minister. Direct investment in Lithuania by Belgium currently totals EUR 125.54 million, and Belgium is on the list of top 20 foreign investors in Lithuania.

Challenges presented by terrorism and migration, as well as coordinated actions to tackle them, have also been discussed at the meeting.

The Head of Government has invited the President of the Belgian Senate and the Belgian scientists to visit the Life Sciences Baltics, the biggest life sciences conference in the Baltic Sea Region, to be held in Lithuania on 14-15 September 2016.