Lithuanian business culture guide - Learn about Lithuania
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Lithuanian business culture guide - Learn about Lithuania

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Lithuania. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at ...

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Lithuania. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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Lithuanian business culture guide - Learn about Lithuania Lithuanian business culture guide - Learn about Lithuania Document Transcript

  •            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture in Lithuania   Content Template http://businessculture.org/easterneurope/lithuania/ Last updated: 24.10.2013 businessculture.org   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission Germany   held Content   cannot be responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  •            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Lithuania  ....................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Lithuania .........................................................................................6   General Education ................................................................................................................................6   Educational standards ...........................................................................................................................6   Other Issues such as transportation infrastructure ................................................................................7   Cultural taboos ......................................................................................................................................7   Business  Communication  ..........................................................................................................  9   Face-to-face communication .................................................................................................................9   Language Matters .................................................................................................................................9   Business Relationships ...........................................................................................................................9   Making contact....................................................................................................................................10   Personal Titles .....................................................................................................................................10   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  11   Corporate Social Responsibility ..........................................................................................................11   Punctuality ..........................................................................................................................................11   Gift giving ............................................................................................................................................12   Business Dress Code ............................................................................................................................12   Bribery and corruption........................................................................................................................12   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  13   Importance of Business Meeting .........................................................................................................13   Business Meeting planning ..................................................................................................................13   Negotiation process .............................................................................................................................14   Meeting protocol .................................................................................................................................14   How to Run a Business Meeting .........................................................................................................15   Follow up letter after meeting with client............................................................................................15   Business meals .....................................................................................................................................15   Business Meeting tips ..........................................................................................................................16   businessculture.org   Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  3     Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  17   Work experience .................................................................................................................................17   Internship and Placement advice ........................................................................................................17   Social security and European health insurance ..................................................................................17   Safety ...................................................................................................................................................18   Do I need a visa? .................................................................................................................................18   Internship and placement salary .........................................................................................................19   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................19   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  20   Money and Banking ............................................................................................................................20   Traveling costs.....................................................................................................................................20   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  22   National holidays.................................................................................................................................22   Working hours .....................................................................................................................................23   Working culture ..................................................................................................................................23   Health insurance .................................................................................................................................23   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  25   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business .........................................................25               businessculture.org   Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Lithuania   The following is a very short introduction toLithuania. External links at the end of this page provide you with more in depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=linjjGgf4bU#t=20 Lithuania is a relatively small country in the northern part of Europe. The largest among the three Baltic States, it neighbours Latvia and Belarus to the north and to the southeast, respectively. To the south, the country borders Poland and to the southwest the Russian exclave of the Kaliningrad Oblast. Reaching 65,300 km2, Lithuania’s land mass is larger than that of Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium or Denmark. Lithuania has approximately 91 km of sandy coastline; however, no more than 38 km of these face the open Baltic Sea. The remaining length of the coast is along the Curonian Spit. Lithuania has an ice-free port in Klaipëda, which is the largest and most important transport hub in the country and links routes through sea, land and railway from both East and West. The climate can be classed as between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate summers and winters. Lithuania is in the Eastern European Time Zone and adheres to CET (UTC +2) during the winter and EEST (UTC +3) during the summer. Lithuania has had an interesting history. At the end of the 14th century, the country was the largest in Europe and later it formed a union with Poland creating a single dual state, which was only dismantled in 1795. Lithuania recovered its freedom after World War I; however, it was annexed by the USSR in 1940. Fifty years later, it was the first Baltic State to declare its independence from Russia, on the 11th of March 1990. The Lithuanian population is more than three million people, mostly comprised of Lithuanians, but also Poles, Russians, Belarusians and other ethnic groups. The main religions are Roman Catholicism and Russian Orthodox. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  5   The political situation in Lithuania is comparable to that in the rest of Europe. It is a stable parliamentary democracy, in which the Prime Minister is the head of the government, and also of a pluri-form multi-party system. The supreme legislative power is held by the Seimas (Parliament), consisting of 141 members elected for a term of four years through universal, equal and direct suffrage and by secret ballot. The President holds a primarily ceremonial role as Head of State. The President is elected for a term of five years by popular vote and is eligible to stand for a second term in office. The President chooses the Prime Minister on the approval of the Parliament. The Lithuanian legal system is also similar to the rest of Europe. The Constitutional (Supreme) Court is the highest court in the land, followed by Regional Courts and District Courts. Lithuania has adopted the European Union standards for all of its laws. Vilnius is the capital and largest city of Lithuania, with a population of 527,000. Kaunas with a population of 337,000 and Klaipëda with a population of 178,000 are the next largest cities. Lithuania is divided into 10 counties each named after their principal city. Each municipality’s government is chosen by democratic elections for municipality councils. There are elections every 4 years and the councils vote for the municipality mayors. The official and most commonly spoken language is Lithuanian, which is one of only two remaining living languages from the Baltic language branch of the Indo-European language family (the other being Latvian). The second and third most commonly spoken languages in Lithuania are Russian and English. Lithuania joined the European Union on the 1st of May 2004 and NATO on the 28th of March 2004. Later, on the 21st of December 2007, Lithuania became a fully–fledged member of the Schengen Area and is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Among the Baltic States, Lithuania’s economy is the largest and also the most diversified. Intensive industrialization during the Soviet regime resulted in companies specializing in electronics, chemicals, machine tools, food processing, metal processing, and construction materials. Light manufacturing involves the production of textiles, ready-to-wear clothing, furniture and household appliances. Services are now the fastest-growing segment in Lithuanian economy. Dynamic transport and transit services are supported by a well-developed road system, as well as the only oil pipeline and refinery in the Baltic States. Tourism is also growing at a rapid pace thanks to the historic legacy of the cities Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipëda and the natural resources for ecotourism and spa treatments that the country offers. The information technology and telecommunications sector is now one of the most promising sectors of Lithuania’s economy. Lithuania is also taking a leading position in biotechnology, compared to the other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The Lithuanian economy is a very open one, with its exports having a high proportion of imported content, which implies that Lithuania attracts foreign exporters of intermediate and investment goods. The main trading partners of the country are Russia, Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Netherlands and Belarus. Mineral products, chemicals, textiles, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, and plastics amount to more than 60% of exports. Imported commodities are primarily mineral products, transport equipment, chemicals, machinery and equipment, textiles and clothing, metals and lasers. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  6   Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Lithuania   Foreigners represent less than one percent of the Lithuanian population and most come to the country for family reasons, although students are a constantly growing group. While having a positive attitude towards foreigners in general, Lithuanians have different opinions on foreign nationals who come to live and work in the country. Most of them believe that foreigners increase the competition for jobs and will drive down wages. This opinion is particularly strong amongst pensioners, civil servants and government workers. Young and highly qualified people are more likely to think positively of immigration and see highly qualified workers as valuable to the Lithuanian economy. General  Education   The rights to free education are guaranteed by law for primary and secondary school and children begin their education when they are seven. It is possible for a child to start school at the age of six, if they are mature enough and the parents request it. Secondary education is organised according to a two-year curriculum, which is personalised to the individual student with the assistance of a guidance counsellor. Students study a number of compulsory subjects, as well as a minimum number of optional ones. The higher education system is divided between colleges which offer apprenticeships and jobspecific training and universities which offer academic programmes of study. College graduates have the option to continue to university by undertaking foundation courses or specialised training programmes. 93% of Lithuanians have completed secondary educationor higher, which is greater than the European average of 73%. Approximately 34% of the population has a higher education qualification and Lithuania is first in the World Competitiveness Rankings in terms of literacy and in the European Union for completion of secondary or higher education. Individuals who have completed their general education abroad and would like to apply to study at institutions of higher education in Lithuania are required to contact the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (Suvalki St. 1, LT-03106, Vilnius, Internet website www.skvc.lt) and present notarised certificates that verify their educational achievements. Educational  standards   The educational standard in Lithuania has always been good. The Lithuanians are generally well educated and participate in training and long-life learning programmes after graduation. For them, education is seen as a way of getting a good job and earning a good living. Mobility of the labour force is high among the younger generation. Many have moved from the countryside to the big cities to look for better paying jobs and 67% of the Lithuanian population now live in towns. With Lithuania joining the EU, people also have the opportunity to travel abroad for jobs. The Lithuanian Law on Education (2011) states that parties of the education system of Lithuania have the right to participate in international collaboration with foreign partners. The businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  7   government programmes in education promote mobility and internationalisation, with the aim of improving educational quality, supporting the development of Lithuanian (Baltic) studies abroad and encouraging cooperation between foreign and Lithuanian researchers. There are funding schemes in place to retain and attract highly qualified researchers to carry out work in Lithuania. Other  Issues  such  as  transportation  infrastructure   The Lithuanian roads are considered some of the best in Eastern Europe. The country has a well-developed network of four-lane highways that link Vilnius, Klaipėda, Kaunas, Panevėžys and Palanga. The costs of public transportation are not very high and a bus ticket from Vilnius in the very East to Klaipėda in the west would be around €10. Bus tickets can be bought at the bus station, via a website, or from the bus driver when travelling between main cities. There are regular buses that travel between the main cities and fuel prices are on a par with Western European countries. Some of cities are connected by railway: Vilnius-Kaunas, Vilnius-Šiauliai, ŠiauliaiPanevėžys, Šiauliai-Klaipėda and Vilnius-Klaipėda. There are 3 passenger airports, but these only operate international flights and there are no internal flights in Lithuania. Fast travel is guaranteed by the small and well-developed road network. International bus routes to western cities are available; however, their number has decreased due to the development of low-cost airlines. Buses are the preferred alternative for shorter distances such as Vilnius-Warsaw, Vilnius-Riga and Vilnius-Minsk. The main modes of urban transportation are buses. In Vilnius and Kaunas, the public transportation system consists of buses and trolley-buses. Licensed private bus companies also operate in urban and suburban areas, where public transport services are limited or nonexistant. Cultural  taboos   Lithuanians are polite, have respect for others and expect the same behaviour as in the other Catholic countries where simple manners are observed. Lithuanians do not really have Taboos about subjects of conversation that should be avoided; except that you should show respect and avoid open criticism of Lithuania or its people. Lithuanians are very proud of themselves and their country, so it is not acceptable to criticise them, their government or the economic situation, even as a joke. If they criticize their own country in your presence, it is best to just give a word of encouragement, like you think things are getting better. Lithuanians are also very private and are likely not to discuss their family with you until they get to know you better. It is not acceptable to ask about a person’s income or financial situation. According to some opinions, openly displaying feelings when your partner is of the same sex could lead to a negative reaction. Another sensitive topic is basketball, which Lithuanians call their second religion. You may get yourself into a long, passionate and possibly angry discussion, if you criticize a Lithuanian basketball team or the style of their game. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  8   There are a number of behaviours that are not acceptable in Lithuania. The consumption of alcohol in parks, squares and other public places is prohibited by law along with smoking in cafes, restaurants, halls and on public transport, except in specially marked smoking areas, and littering from car windows or in public places. Fines can be quite expensive and these offences are taken seriously. Avoid kissing, when greeting a person that you do not know well, a handshake is far more common and appropriate. Usually only relatives or close friends kiss when meeting. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  9   Business  Communication   Successful business requires good knowledge of the foreign country culture. You have to be prepared to encounter different attitudes and beliefs that influence the business decisions. This section is intended to provide the basic ‘ground rules’ for doing business in Lithuania. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication   Lithuanians are respectful with a conservative demeanour. They are formal and tend not to use many physical gestures. Usually, men and women do not touch whilst talking, although patting on the shoulder might be observed. It is recommended not to point with a single finger, but to use the whole hand with the palm facing up. Eye contact is crucial and Lithuanian business people prefer to look into the eyes of their partners while discussing business opportunities. Maintaining good eye contact is a sign of respect and demonstrates how seriously someone is taking the subject of discussion. Lithuanians are usually conservative in their manners and the way they communicate; they are direct and say what they mean politely. Lithuanians are warm people, although they might not give this impression at first. When they get well acquainted with somebody, they are willing to share more personal information. Lithuanians are very reserved and not emotive talkers. They do not say much and do not like people who talk too much. So, when you are in discussion with them, be careful not to talk too much and get straight to the point. Lithuanians obviously try not to offend at the first meeting, but they are still going to say exactly what they think and will expect the same from their partners. Language  Matters   Lithuanians are multilingual, often speaking Russian, English, French and German as second languages. Lithuania is ranked in the top five EU countries with the highest number of people who are proficient in at least two foreign languages. 90% of the population is able to communicate in at least one foreign language and approximately 50% of Lithuanians can speak two foreign languages. Business  Relationships   Like in other Baltic states, it is very important to have a personal contact in the destination country. Lithuania is more product-orientated, which means that if you have a good product, they would be willing to do business with you. A Lithuanian businessman will be more comfortable in engaging in business with you, if you have been introduced to him by someone he knows and trusts. If you can approach a potential business partner through a trusted mutual contact, that is usually the best way to open communications. The business community in Lithuania is very close-knit; many business people are good friends and know each other very well. According to researchers, Lithuanian businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  10     businesses are more likely to cooperate with foreigners that they do not know than Lithuanians they do not know. Once a contact has been made, you must be prepared to make frequent visits to Lithuania to solidify the business relationship. In business, personal relationships are very important and critical business issues require face-to-face discussion. Frequent visits and phone calls will also be required to build the trust for a lasting relationship. You should dedicate time and effort in fostering relationships through informal meetings and continuing communication. Lithuanians prefer to have all agreements on paper, signed and sealed. Verbal agreements are good, but not legally binding. All agreements, deadlines and procedures are written up in both English and Lithuanian and signed by both sides Making  contact   The custom in Lithuania is a firm handshake. Close friends and family may give each other light hugs or exchange kisses on the cheek. However, foreigners should wait for the Lithuanian partners to define when your acquaintance is so close. Personal space is important to Lithuanians. An arms’ length is the norm, although this might be less with family and close friends. Lithuanians are generally very affectionate with their family, friends and colleagues, while maintaining a good degree of respect. Any topic of discussion is good to start a conversation with. You can talk about family, work, hobbies and sports. Lithuanians are fond of basketball and their national team is among the best in the world. Personal  Titles   People are referred to by their title and surname. Colleagues and supervisors are usually referred to by their first name with Ponas (Mr), Panele (Ms) or Ponia (Mrs) or by title: Doctor, Professor, Director, Principle etc. and sometimes including last names. It is important not to address someone by their first name until invited to do so. It is advisable to use the information on their business card to determine how to address an associate. So, if he or she has a title written in front of their name, then you should address the person by their title and surname. Academic titles are highly recommended to be used and you would generally be expected to use a formal form of address until requested not to. Male and female surnames differ, e.g. “Sakalauskas” for male and “Sakalauskiene” for wife or “Sakalauskaité” for daughter. There are no specific protocols surrounding the giving and receiving of business cards. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  11   Business  Etiquette     Corporate  Social  Responsibility   The understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility differs among Lithuanian companies and is frequently linked to philanthropy rather than partnerships. For most of them, CSR is about ethical conduct and transparency in operations. For others, protecting the environment is a socially responsible activity. Codes of conduct are not considered as a must and the companies may have them in a written or verbal form. The development of codes of conduct is associated primarily with the improvement of employee relations and Lithuanian companies hold strong beliefs that that such codes play very little role in good government relations. The reasons that Lithuanian companies participate in social projects (mainly in the area of education environmental protection and health) include: creating a better reputation in society; improving relations with the local community; continued existence of the business in the long term; and increasing shareholder value. The barriers to implementing CSR faced by Lithuanian companies are mainly due to the absence of proper regulations worsened by financial and government constraints. Specifically, overall costs are high, CSR has no direct impact on financial success, government involvement is deficient, there are no visible results and businesses place an excessive focus on short-term gains. Wider implementation of CRS depends on sharing information, collaboration between different stakeholders and the transfer of best practices from international companies. Notwithstanding interferences and difficulties in the Lithuanian business world, understanding of the concept of CSR is growing, along with a sense of moral obligation and range of possible applications. Every company in Lithuania that recognises its social responsibility and takes action to improve its business practices is implementing modern human resources management technologies and strategic business plans. Companies that estimate the possible negative impacts on their natural and social environment are able to harmonise labour relations and take an active role in the social dialogue. The Lithuanian government’s national programme for the development of CSR between 2009 and 2013 is one of many signposts helping to establish changes in the country. The purpose of the programme is the creation of a friendly environment for future growth of CSR in Lithuania and to motivate companies to apply these principles in their operations. Punctuality   Lithuanians are usually on time for meetings and visitors are expected to arrive on time. Generally, it is always a good idea to arrive about ten minutes before your appointment, in order to give you time to prepare for the meeting. If you know that you are going to be delayed, it is advisable to call ahead and apologize for your delay. Scheduling appointments 2 to 3 weeks prior to the meeting date is required. Lithuanians favour face-to-face meetings, businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  12   because they need to foster relationships for mutual understanding. Punctuality may not be as strict in social situations. Gift  giving   Business partners do not expect presents at the first meeting, but small gifts to business associates are generally acceptable and you might be expected to bring a souvenir from your own country, something small and unique that represents your country or your company. Gifts appropriate for a business meeting are items for the office, such as pens that are engraved with your company logo. In the course of developing a business relationship, gift giving is a standard practice. Corporate gifts can include a bottle of wine, high quality chocolates, or a basket of tea and biscuits. It is traditional to bring something for the host when visiting a Lithuanian home. An appropriate gift is a bottle of wine or liquor or a box of sweets or chocolates. It is recommended to avoid giving white flowers that are reserved for weddings and chrysanthemums that are typical at funerals. The family is the central unit in the social structure of Lithuanian society. Therefore, a family gift should be accompanied with small gifts for the children or grandparents. In Lithuania, gifts are opened in front of the guest upon receiving them. Business  Dress  Code   In business, conservative/classical clothing is common. Men tend to wear a dark suit with a tie, while women might wear a trouser suit, or jacket and skirt. For business meetings, choosing a dark suit to wear is always appropriate for men and women should also wear a suit or something elegant. Lithuanians expect their foreign business associates to be well dressed and business attire is appropriate for almost all formal occasions. During normal working hours, there is a less formal code. Men take off their jackets and usually wear short sleeved shirts. In small and medium sized companies, there is often no dress code. Dressing is business casual, unless they have some sort of business meeting or formal event to attend. Bribery  and  corruption   According to the Corruption Perception index of 2012, Lithuania ranked 48th among 176 rated countries, with 54 of a possible 100 points. According to the Lithuanian office of Transparency International, business representatives saw a better outlook for Lithuania’s anticorruption environment in 2012. According the experts, Lithuania also boasts a favourable legal environment that can easily accommodate further anti-corruption measures. According to the national and international surveys, Lithuania suffers from an average level of political and administrative corruption. Corruption is a result of poor public administration rather than a cultural heritage. Explicit anti-corruption policies are spreading, especially in police and hospitals, leading to reduced levels of participation in illicit activities. Bribery continues to be an issue outside the big cities. However, society understands the threat of corruption and the number of people and businesses that are ready to participate in anticorruption activities is growing. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  13   Business  Meeting  Etiquette     Importance  of  Business  Meeting   Lithuanian firms are very hierarchical and all the major decisions are made from the top down. During a first meeting, Lithuanians will try to be formal and polite, listening very diligently. They like to ask questions to be sure that they understand what you are saying. Usually, Lithuanians like to build a personal relationship with potential partners before moving the conversation to business. It is essential that you try to speed up this process, as it is critical to the success of the discussion and doing business in Lithuania. Lithuanians prefer to discuss business with someone of equal status so, it is a good idea to let your partner know your position in your company and ask to meet someone at the same level. The best way to contact someone in Lithuania is to call them on the phone, because if you send an email, the reply might take some time to reach you. In Lithuania, it is still very common to send letters in business communications, but you should expect a reply to take about 10 days. Small companies operating in technological areas or providing consulting or legal services may prefer to communicate through email. The best advice if you are dealing with modern company with a young manager is to first write an email and then follow-up with a phone call if you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe. In many cases, when small companies get a call from a foreign company for the first time, they respond with the answer: “Ok. Write me an email”. If you really expect results, it is important that you dedicate time and effort for frequent and continued personal communication. Arriving on time for a meeting is also very important as punctuality is highly valued. Business  Meeting  planning   When you propose a meeting, it is a good idea to offer several dates in order to give your partner a choice of dates. A meeting request should include the topics you would like to discuss, the reason for the meeting and the people you would like to meet. Given that decisions are generally made at the top, it is advisable to ask senior management to take part in the discussions, if you want decisions to be made quickly. Meeting between companies are generally attended by people of similar status and seniority. Therefore, it is essential that you provide a list of the people attending the meeting from your company, including brief biographical information which can help your partner select meeting attendees from their side. It is best to ask for confirmation in writing of the people going to be present, including their name and position as well as the time and place of the meeting. If you are not able to attend a meeting, you should notify whoever is organising the meeting and postpone or cancel the meeting. The most appropriate time for a business meeting is between 9am and 1pm, allowing for the option of a business lunch after 12:30pm. The host is responsible for choosing and booking the venue, as well as the meeting room and refreshments. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  14   You should decide on the language of the meeting together with your partner beforehand and inform your host if you will be accompanied by an interpreter or would like your partner to arrange one. Your business partner will know where to find a professional translator with industry-specific knowledge. In the unlikely event that they do not know your business or the products you are selling, bring along some brochures, sample products or other informative materials. Business meetings tend to be very structured, formal affairs that begin and end with some form of small talk. It is advisable that you let your host take the lead on the subject matter and periods of silence are to be expected. It is important to avoid interrupting someone while they are speaking. Usually the meetings are set to begin on the hour and if a meeting is proposed at a quarter past the hour, it usually means a short or rushed meeting. Negotiation  process   Decisions tend to be made from the top down. Avoid hard selling tactics and any sort of conflict or confrontational approach. It is always helpful to know a few words in the native language as a sign of respect and this will undoubtedly generate a friendlier response. For example: “labas” means ‘hello’, “labas rytas” means ‘good morning’, “labas naktys” means ‘goodnight’, “prasad” means ‘please’ or ‘you’re welcome’ and “aciu” means ‘thank you’. Many foreign business partners might think of Lithuanians as reserved and bureaucratic at first. Lithuanians prefer face-to-face meetings and do not give their trust easily. So, you have to build some trust first, if you want to do business in Lithuania. Lithuanians expect that any unsolicited approach is an attempt to sell them something and they expect the worst scenario. So, “American style” sales techniques can have the exact opposite to the desired effect. Business managers who do business with Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe make personal relationships first, business comes later.  Meeting  protocol   Greetings depend on the time of the day. You can say “Laba diena” or “Labas rytas” if you meet during the day and “Labas vakaras” in the evening. When leaving, you can use “Viso gero” to mean ‘see you later’ or ‘goodbye’. To greet your partner look them straight in the eyes, give a firm handshake, state your name clearly and present your business card. Your Lithuanian partner will do the same and will have their business cards written in both Lithuanian and English. Listen intently when your associate pronounces their name, so that you have an idea of how to pronounce it later. Place their business card in front of you, so that you can refer to it if you have to address the person. You will have to shake hands with everyone present at both the beginning and end of the meeting. When introduced, refer to your counterparts using their academic title and family name. This is very important, because Lithuanians are very proud of their titles and great status attached to them. At the beginning of a business relationship, it is advisable to be formal. Lithuania has a formal society and it is a good idea to wait for your partner to propose any informal terms. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  15     How  to  Run  a  Business  Meeting   Although entrepreneurs prefer less formality, it is still important to adopt a formal approach to older workers and government officials. The best tactic is to let the host take the lead on the level of formality. In Lithuania, business is quite hierarchical; the chair of a meeting is probably the most senior participant. This person will determine the pace at which the meeting proceeds and who may speak at any given time. In addition, they will open the meeting and introduce participants in order of seniority. You will observe that less junior members only talk to their direct counterparts unless replying to questions asked by more senior employees. Thus it is essential that you do the same, so as not to breach the level of etiquette. Business meetings tend to be highly structured and formal affairs that follow a pre-written agenda. Periods of silence are to be expected and you should avoid interrupting someone while they are speaking. Lithuanians do not like long meetings and expect you to be well prepared for a meeting with all the relevant information available immediately. You should be ready to answer questions, directly after the presentation. It is usual to give a small gift when the meeting ends, so it is good to have a small corporate gift that can be given in return. After the formal close of the meeting, you are likely to be invited to take part in some form of entertainment activity during the evening. You should not decline this invitation, as it will give you an opportunity to develop your relationship with the company. At meetings, coffee, tea, water, soft drinks will usually be offered and there may be a sandwich lunch depending on the timing. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  client   The minutes of a meeting are usually sent a few days after the meeting, summarizing the main points of discussion, the decisions that were taken and the methods by which the desired results may be achieved. The minutes are normally sent by the people hosting the meeting. Ensure that all agreements and decisions are written in both languages, so as to avoid misunderstanding. If you would like to make certain that everything is done properly, you should include fixed deadlines and guidelines on how tasks should be accomplished, together with who is responsible for each task. Irrespective of the outcome of the meeting, it is always advisable to write to your hosts and express thanks for their time and effort. Sending a follow-up email shows that you care and are prepared to make the effort required to form a good business relationship. Business  meals   businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  16     At the beginning of a business relationship, it is safe to say that Lithuanians will prefer to invite their guests to lunch or dinner in a restaurant, rather than into their homes. But, perhaps after a successful business deal and a few visits to Lithuania, when the business relationship has matured into a friendship, then an invitation to dinner at home, might be forthcoming. Getting invitation to someone’s home shows that your business partner considers you as very important to them, as they are willing to introduce you to their family as a friend. It is not common to have breakfast meetings and they would usually take place only if a company guest requests them. The venue would then probably be at the restaurant in the hotel where the visitor is staying. Although business lunches happen often, Lithuanians prefer business dinners, where they can become better acquainted with their associates in a more relaxed environment. Business lunches and dinners are usually fairly formal. Therefore, formal dress is advisable, especially on a first meeting (men should wear a suit with a tie and women should wear a suit or a smart dress). If a business dinner is more for the purposes of entertainment and getting to know each other, casual dress is more appropriate. Business  Meeting  tips   • You should show expertise in the subject of your negotiations and should not talk down or be arrogant to your Lithuanian partners. Lithuanians, like the majority of people in the former communist countries, are sensitive about being underrated. They are proud and expect to be treated as equal partners. Do not show your emotions in public, it will be taken as weakness and remember to maintain eye contact. • Lithuanians are a well educated and very hard working people. Give them time and space, ask for their opinion about any problems and you will be surprised at the number of ideas they may come up with. • Trust is very important to Lithuanians. Once they feel they can trust you, they may be prepared to introduce more Lithuanian companies to work with you. • It is recommended for foreigners not to criticize Lithuania or Lithuanians. If your partners, during discussions, use critical words about Lithuania or Lithuanians, then your positive comments will help to create a friendly atmosphere. • Lithuania has a complex history and Lithuanians are very proud of their nation. They see themselves as Western Europeans. It is better to avoid debates on historical conquests and territorial claims. Always follow up with a short thank you or confirmation email, and do not expect that the Lithuanian host will do it first. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  17   Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   According to the Lithuanian Law of Science and Studies, higher education institutions are responsible for the practical placements of their students. In general, student placements are a compulsory part of undergraduate programmes. The university or college cooperates with enterprises in order to help students acquire specific skills relevant to their future professions. There is no central student placement database in Lithuania. Student placement opportunities are facilitated by career centres within each university and students can also arrange their own company placements through their personal contacts. Further information is provided at the following sites of employment agencies: Student placement opportunities in Lithuania may be uploaded by companies to the Europe Internship portal at http://www.europe-internship.com. Lithuanian universities provide also student placements for foreign students under the Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme. There are also some opportunities for internships provided by the United Nations Development Programme in Lithuania. The assignments are different and may vary in length according to the availability and academic requirements as well as the needs of UNDP. Internship  and  Placement  advice   Information on job opportunities can be obtained through the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, which offers temporary or seasonal vacancies, or various jobs websites: Social  security  and  European  health  insurance   All citizens who come from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and have a European health insurance card (EHIC) or E111 proof of insurance are entitled to free public health care services in the event of an accident. This card does not cover the expenses of health care services provided by the private sector. Visitors coming from countries outside of the EU may take out their health insurance either in their own country or in Lithuania. In the case of arrival in Lithuania without a visa, students have to take out health insurance for a minimum of 3 months, which can then be extended as part of a visa or temporary residence application process. When applying for a temporary residence permit (TRP), it is better to have Lithuanian health insurance, which costs about 400 Litai (€115) per annum. Lithuania has a high number of GPs and everyone who needs state medical care has to make sure that their doctor is contracted by the Territorial Patient Funds (TPF) scheme. The TPF maintains a list of all state-registered doctors who are able to provide public health care. There are hospitals and clinics in all major towns and cities. Medicine is only prescribed by doctors or consultants and can be acquired from a hospital pharmacy or registered chemist. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  18     Everyone with an employment contract must be covered by social security and make the required contributions, without exception. Safety   In general, Lithuania is a relatively safe country. Although organized crime and public corruption exists, the majority of crimes reported to the Regional Security Office consist of economic crimes of opportunity, such as pick-pocketing, residential burglaries, theft from vehicles and theft of unattended items. Over half of all crimes are opportunisitic propertyrelated residential thefts that are due to open windows, unlocked doors, and weak security measures. Vehicle break-ins are usually the result of valuables being left in plain sight. The majority of violent encounters occur between the hours of 10pm and 6am and involve individuals who were alone and/or overly-intoxicated. Homosexuals have experienced verbal and sometimes physical harassment. Members of national minorities (Africans in particular) could face racism, although cases of racism are not common and are not tolerated by the authorities. However, people of other races should get accustomed to being carefully observed, in particular outside urban areas. Often this is due to curiosity, rather than bad intentions. In order to reduce the risk of problems developing, it is advisable to remain tolerant, calm and polite. Lithuanians are accustomed to their homogenous environment and might not have encountered people of other races very often. Lithuania has the lowest number of alcohol-related accidents in the EU. The police have a zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving, and the penalties are very high. Do  I  need  a  visa?   Lithuania is a Member State of the European Union (EU) and a member of the Schengen Area. EU citizens are entitled to stay in Lithuania for a maximum of 3 months within a 6 month period that begins from the day of their arrival in the country. EU citizens who want to stay for a period longer than three months, or who have already stayed in Lithuania for longer than three months, must register with the Migration Department and apply for a temporary residence permit of up to 5 years. Work permits are not required for EU citizens. Lithuania has a number of reciprocal agreements with non-EU countries to enable visitors to enter without requiring a visa. It is advisable to check with the Migration Department or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for current advice on visas, permits and immigration requirements: Upon arrival in Lithuania, EU students must: • Register in the Migration Office to receive a document proving their stay in Lithuania has been authorised. The name of this document in Lithuania is “Pažyma ES valstybės narės piliečiui jo teisei gyventi LR patvirtinti“. The necessary documents are a valid passport or ID card, an application form obtained from the Migration office, a European health insurance card, a certificate proving enrolment at a local university, bank documents showing proof of sufficient funds and payment for the processing businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  19     • fees. The Migration Office normally processes the registration and prepares certification documents within 5 business days. A further declaration including proof of a Lithuanian address must then be submitted to the local Municipality Office (Seniūnija) within 7 working days of receipt of after the reception of the document from the Migration Office. Students from outside of the EU must have a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) to study in Lithuania and applications can take up to 6 months to process. In order to speed up this process, a student may apply for a national visa which may be issued within 15 days. The international offices of the universities provide detailed information for TRP applications. Internship  and  placement  salary   Salaries are generally negotiated between the company and the employee and some companies offer unpaid internships. The average monthly salary in Lithuania is between €200 and €600 euros, although the minimum wage is approximately €290. All employment agreements must be made in compliance with the standard form of employment agreement and prepared in the Lithuanian language. However, an agreement may include a foreign language translation to ensure that both parties fully understand the terms of the agreement. Employment agreements in Lithuania may be agreed for an indefinite period of time or a fixed term, if the job is for a specific project. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Accommodation in Lithuania is less expensive than in northern Europe, but more expensive than in many eastern countries. Higher education institutions provide accommodation in halls of residence to more than 80% of students. Finding a place to rent in the private sector is comparatively easy, but the costs of housing, utilities, local rates and residential taxes are higher in the capital and other large cities. The average expense for accommodation in Lithuania varies between 500 Litai (€170) and 1,000 Litai (€289). Local and national newspapers advertise flats or houses for rent under the section “Reklama” or “Skelbimai”. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  20   Cost  of  Living     The cost of living in Lithuania is not very high for foreign students though it depends on their lifestyles. According to the calculations, the average monthly living expenses per student amount to 1,300 Litai (€380) including accommodation. Lithuania is placed amongst the top 40 countries in the world for quality of life and among the top 10 cheapest European countries to live in, according to the Mercer Cost of Living Index 2012. According to international comparisons, Lithuania is currently ranked 589 out of 780 places, where 1 is the most expensive and 780 is the least. The cost of groceries, accommodation, transportation and health care are lower than in most other countries. More expensive are items such as clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers and office supplies. Money  and  Banking   The national currency of Lithuanian is the Litas (LTL; plural: Litai or Litu) which is divided into 100 centu (plural: centai). Notes are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 Litu. Coins are in denominations of 5, 2 and 1 Litai and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 centu and 1 centas. Since the 28th of June 2004, the litas has been a part of the European Union’s exchange-rate mechanism and is due to be replaced by the Euro in January 2014. Major credit cards are accepted in the main hotels, shops restaurants and in certain petrol stations; and ATMs are available in all cities. The import or export of currency is not limited, although amounts valued over €10,000 must be declared, if you are coming from or going to a country outside the European Union. Currency can be bought or sold at banks and bureaux de change. Traveller’s cheques are not generally accepted and can only be exchanged at a very small number of places. Banking hours are normally Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm and some banks also open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Shopping malls are normally open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 10pm. There are eight commercial banks licensed by the Bank of Lithuania, twelve foreign banks and two agencies of foreign banks that operate in the country. There are also 225 banks from European Union member states that provide virtual banking services, without having physical branches in Lithuania. All banks have representatives who speak English and will accept account applications. Traveling  costs   Bus and trolley bus tickets are cheaper if bought from a news kiosk (Lietuvos spauda). You can get two kinds of of public transport tickets: single-use paper tickets and electronic tickets (e-tickets). Paper tickets that are bought from the driver do not have to be validated using businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  21   ticket punchers. E-tickets are pre-paid plastic cards, which have to be validated for each journey using machines that are installed on board each bus. Various discounts are available to holders of the Lithuanian student card or European ISIC. Taxis are reasonably priced and ordering a taxi over the phone from a known company is less expensive and generally safer than hailing one on the street. According to some cost estimations, the average monthly cost of public transportation in Lithuania is 100 Litai (€29) for adults and 20 Litai (€6) for students. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  22     Work-­‐life  Balance     Lithuanians are ready to work long hours including overtime, so that they can provide a good standard of living for their families. Loyalty and the ability to work long hours are often considered by employers as necessary characteristics of a good employee. Because of the difficulties in finding a good job and fear of losing it to someone else, young people in particular have to be willing to work hard for long hours. The desire for career development is a major impediment to achieving a better work-life balance, especially for younger people and citizens of the bigger Lithuanian cities. Rather than ask for a promotion or better working conditions, employees are more likely to increase their efforts in the hope that they will be noticed and rewarded. More flexible working hours are considered as the second most important factor for choosing a job. Gender equality in Lithuania is growing, with men and women being considered to a greater extent as equal “breadwinners”. Work-family issues are being considered less of a “women’s problem” among college graduates and the urban population. However, Lithuanian society as a whole is still conservative when it comes to the sharing of parental obligations between women and men and few men would take parental leave. The primary reason is that men don’t want to interrupt their careers and there are still strong beliefs shared by both women and men that housework and raising children is better done by women. On the 16th June 2012, the European Institute for Gender Equality was officially launched in Lithuania as an autonomous institution with full financial and administrative independence. National  holidays   Lithuanian statutory holidays are as follows: Date and name of the Holiday: • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 January New Year’s Day 16 February Independence Day (Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania) 11 March Re-establishment of Lithuania’s Independence Moveable Easter Sunday and Easter Monday 1 May International Labour Day First Sunday in May Mother‘s Day First Sunday in June Father‘s Day 24 June Rasos (Midsummer Festival) and Joninës (St John’s Day) 6 July Statehood Day (Coronation of King Mindaugas) 15 August Assumption Day 1 November All Saints’ Day 24 December Christmas Eve 25 and 26 December Christmas Some national holidays take place on the same dates as significant festivals and cultural celebrations. St John’s Night, on the 24th June, celebrates the shortest night of the year and businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  23   people stay up by bonfires all night. For Palm Sunday traditional “palm bouquets (called ‘verbos’) are made of colourful dried flowers and herbs. Shrove Tuesday is a moveable feast held between February 3rd and March 9th as folk celebration to bid farewell to the winter and welcome spring. People chase away winter with all its “evils” by wearing various costumes and burning special statues made from hay. In Lithuania, employees are entitled to four calendar weeks paid holiday per annum, including weekends. Most Lithuanians tend to take their vacation in the summer months of June, July and August and also around Christmas time. Some categories of employees are entitled to extended annual leave of 35 days. These are employees under 18 years of age, single parents raising a child under 14 years of age, single parents raising a disabled child under 18 years of age. Employees working night shifts, or in extremely dangerous conditions, also have additional holiday entitlements. Generally, employees are entitled to annual paid holidays after six months of employment. Working  hours   A typical working week is 8 hours a day, 5 days a week starting at 8 or 8.30am. In some cases, the working week might be extended to 6 days or 48 hours. Part-time work is not well established and people working in private business commonly stay late at work, even on weekends. As office hours may vary, you should check before contacting your business partner. Friday is often a short day and business people may leave at about 4 pm or earlier. Banks generally open at 8am and close early, while shops are open until 6pm from Monday to Friday. Daily lunch breaks are usually short (30 to 60 minutes), although business lunches can turn into long discussions. Employees are entitled to annual vacation of 28 calendar days, including weekends. In general overtime is not allowed, but an employer may demand that employees work overtime hours in exceptional cases that are described in the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania. In any case an employee’s overtime hours must not exceed four hours in each 48 hour period or 120 hours per annum. Working  culture   In Lithuania working practices are formal and professional. There is a well-defined and strictly observed hierarchy with clear responsibilities and distinctions between roles and departments. Health  insurance   According to Health Insurance Law, every permanent resident in the country regardless of citizenship must have health insurance. When employees begin work, employers have to register them with the company health insurance fund. In the case of self-employment, individuals have to make their own contributions. The state fund pays for most medical services including treatment by specialists, prescriptions, hospitalisation, pregnancy, childbirth and rehabilitation. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  24   There are two types of public hospitals in Lithuania. Firstly, the Vilnius University Hospital and Santariskes Clinics, which is a combination of hospitals and clinics controlled by the Ministry of Health and the University. Other hospitals are controlled by the counties and municipalities. Most of the specialized hospitals are situated in the capital and larger cities. The national emergency telephone number for the ambulance service is 112. Although there is a private health care system in Lithuania, the insurance is too expensive for most people and there are not many private practices. However, the government has encouraged religious groups to open medical and welfare facilities; the Roman Catholic Church and the charitable organisation Caritas have already done so. Dental care in Lithuania is very good and on a par with Western Europe. Most dentists have private practices. Check-ups are free of charge; however patients must pay for any treatment they receive. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines are available at local pharmacies, known as “Vaistinė”, which are normally open from 8am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. Some designated pharmacies stay open 24 hours a day including holidays. The social insurance system in Lithuania guarantees income for people in cases where they are unable to work, due to illness, old-age, maternity, disability, or other circumstances that are set out in the Law on State Social Insurance. Social insurance is funded through the payas-you-earn system and relevant contributions by the employer and employee are based on a percentage of the employee’s salary. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  25   Social  Media  Guide     Lithuania is among the leading countries of the European Union in information communications technologies and is ranked first in the World Competitiveness Rankings for communication technology. In the EU, it has a leading position in the number of people aged 16 to 24 who have gained ICT skills through formal education. Lithuanians are proud to have the fastest download and upload speeds in the EU. Lithuania takes first place on the continent for density of network of public internet access points. As a result, 92% of all financial operations are performed via e-banking. The most modern ICT technologies (EDGE technology, mobile WiMAX 4G Internet, 3G mobile communications infrastructure, etc.) are fully implemented and used throughout the whole country. More than 60% of Lithuanian households have access to a broadband connection. In 2012, the country had the highest number of people having used the internet to read online news and newspapers (92% of internet users) and more than 70% having posted messages in the social media. The major platforms being used in Lithuania are Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia. Facebook has 1,138,340 users in Lithuania and the country ranks 79th among all Facebook statistics by country. Facebook penetration in Lithuania is 31.93% of the country’s population and 55% of the number of Internet users. Lithuania has 0.94% higher Facebook penetration than Germany. At the moment, the largest age group of users is the 18 to 24 with total of 348,200 users, followed by the 25 to 34 age group. The gender division of users is currently 46% male to 54% female in Lithuania. The main uses of social media are communicating with friends, sharing YouTube videos, photos and pictures. Women tend to search for clothing, holiday offers and restaurants. Lithuanian businesses are focusing on communication with customers, primarily on Facebook. Twitter is only used by several hundred or possibly thousand Lithuanians. Generally, Lithuanian companies have yet to discover the marketing and communications advantages of social media. Google+ is used mainly by bloggers, students, politicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, PR people and IT enthusiasts. Although, Google+ is becoming more popular for business. LinkedIn is mostly used by advertisers, designers, marketing agencies, and small information technology shops. Business people tend to register on LinkedIn to upload their résumé and showcase their connections, but they do not use it actively. Most users are based in the capital city and LinkedIn has become much more popular in the last 2 or 3 years. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  26     This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0 businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  27     How to use social media for international business development (4/12) • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  28     How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania  
  •            |  29     How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Lithuania  
  •              |  30   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristole University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopouloui TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Lithuania