New opportunities for Lithuania-Chile cooperation
The meeting focused on economic and cultural cooperation between Lithuania and Chile, bilateral relations, and collaboration in international organizations, reports BC Lithuania's presidential press service.
"Large geographical distance is no obstacle for developing bilateral cooperation. The cultural ties established between the two countries 200 years ago is the best proof that even the nations that are two thousand kilometres apart can be bound by the links of culture, different traditions and the wish to help each other.
"We work together in international communities, but there is still much untapped potential for our relations in economic, education and cultural spheres," the Lithuanian president said.
Grybauskaite underlined that Lithuania was open to Chilean entrepreneurs who are keen to start up business in Europe and seek access to the EU market. According to her, Lithuania can be proud not only as one of the fastest growing economies across the EU, but also of its talented people, favourable business environment, and well-developed business infrastructure.
Lithuanian business people are likewise actively interested in opportunities to invest in Chile. Our seven milk processing companies are exploring ways to export their products to this country. Chile is Lithuania's third biggest trade partner among Latin American countries.
Chile's support is important for Lithuania in seeking membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Energy issues were also discussed at the meeting with the president of Chile. Both states are interested in the development of the liquefied natural gas sector and U.S. shale gas imports. Chile and Lithuania have built their LNG terminals and now are mainly importing liquefied natural gas.
During the meeting, great emphasis was placed on the culture of both countries. Cultural contacts between Lithuania and Chile date back to the early 19th century when a Lithuanian, Ignas Domeika, arrived in Santiago, became rector of the University of Chile and established a network of meteorological stations.
The meeting also addressed the issue of women's leadership. President Grybauskaite, who was elected to chair the Council of Women World Leaders last year, underlined it was essential to seek gender equality not only in state-level governance, but also in political and economic decision-making. According to her, Lithuania is one of the few countries in the world with the largest number of female public servants. Two of our state's three highest offices are also held by women. ■