The Association “Investors’ Forum”, which unites the largest and most active investors in the Lithuanian economy, evaluated the contribution of the country’s companies, individuals, and organizations to the improvement of the business environment and investment climate in 2022.

At the Investors’ Forum awards held for the twelfth time on Friday, the most important title of Investor of the Year 2022 went to the Teltonika Group, which develops Internet of Things products and solutions. This year, IKI Lietuva, the managing company of the IKI shopping network, received an award for its socially responsible activities. During the solemn ceremony, the 2022 decision to improve the business environment, business journalist of the year, civil servant, economics and entrepreneurship teacher and a special award for support to Ukraine were also announced.

Teltonika Group won the title of investor of the Year for large investments and creation of high added value in the Molėtai region. The company invested more than 20 million EUR in the Molėtai technology center of “Teltonika” built last year. Another 14 million. EUR is planned to be invested in expanding the production equipment in the coming years. As a result of these investments, 150 new, well-paid jobs have already been created in the lake region, and another 350 people are planned to be employed in the next 2-3 years.

“The modern telemedicine devices and smart technology devices manufactured in Molėtai will make Lithuania famous all over the world as a country that creates advanced solutions. Thus, this investment is important not only for the region due to the high added value jobs created, but also for the entire country. In addition, such investments of Lithuanian capital set an example for other businesses and encourage the exploitation of opportunities in the regions of Lithuania. Teltonika group in Lithuania has great future ambitions, so I will not be surprised if this will not be the last such evaluation it has earned”, comments Rolandas Valiūnas, chairman of the board of the association “Investors’ Forum”.

The company “IKI Lietuva”, which manages the “IKI” retail chain, won the title of the most socially responsible company in 2022. The company earned the title for its holistic approach not only to employees, but also to its activities and public education. “IKI Lietuva” was the first to start using only eggs from chickens kept on litter in culinary products, the first to completely stop trading in live fish and inspired other retail chains to follow these examples. During the past year, the company donated several thousand tons of food products, nearly the value of 6 million EUR to the charity and support fund “Maisto bankas”. After the start of the war in Ukraine, the trade network integrates war refugees from Ukraine into the labor market. 285 were employed as of March 2022. “IKI” also helps to integrate convicts into the labor market, last year about 20 women who were serving sentences worked in the retail chain.

As last year, this time, during the award ceremony, great attention was paid to Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and assistance to people affected by the war. The special “Investors’ Forum” award for support to Ukraine went to the national broadcaster LRT for the support campaign “Radarom!”, which united Lithuanian people and businesses and raised the patronage bar to new heights. The representatives of the association congratulated all the businesses that donated to this campaign, and special thanks were expressed to the big sponsors – “Teltonika” Group, “Tesonet” Group, transport company “Skuba”, office furniture company “Narbutas International”, furniture store “Baldai1”, “SBA Group” and “Concretus Group”.

Investors recognized the improvement of migration procedures for highly qualified specialists as the best solution for improving the business environment last year, which simplified migration rules and created conditions for easier obtaining a Blue Card.

“This well-intentioned and effective legislative change process has contributed to solving the critical shortage of skilled workers. We are sure that this decision will be useful not only for businesses that are looking for such employees and those who hire them, for the employees themselves, but also for the state, because these specialists create products with high added value, increase the country’s competitive advantage”, says Rūta Skyrienė, “Investors’ Forum’s executive director.

During the awards ceremony, investors also announced the 2022 State Officer. This title is dedicated to the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jovita Neliupšienė, who previously held the position of the Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation. The members of the association appreciated her particularly high competences, conducting a constructive dialogue with the business community, and her active role in cooperation with social partners, both in the positions of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economy and Innovation.

The title of Business Journalist 2022 went to “Verslo žinios” and “Gazelė” columnist Rasa Dževeckyta. Investors’ Forum representatives drew attention to her long-term contribution to popularizing the topics of transparent and responsible business in the press.

The entrepreneurship and economics teacher of the year was chosen by the association together with its long-term partner Lietuvos Junior Achievement. The title was won by Inga Niuniavaitė, economics and entrepreneurship teacher at Vilnius Žirmūnai Gymnasium and Queen Martha School, a co-author of textbooks and various methodical publications.

During the awards event, donations were also collected for a new project of the organizations “Stiprūs Kartu” and “Blue and Yellow”. The goal of their project is to bring children whose parents died defending the freedom of Ukraine to Lithuania for summer vacation.