• Aurelija Markeviciene
Nowadays, the competition among countries for foreign direct investments (FDI) is huge. Some countries succeed in attracting FDI while others remain marginalized. It is argued by the scholars that it is easier to attract FDI for the countries that have a strong brand. The construction of Lithuania’s image has been lasting for over 20 years. Even a specific agency, Invest Lithuania, was established by the government of Lithuania to be in charge of branding Lithuania to foreign investors. However, Lithuania is still a rather unknown country among British investors. Therefore, I have found it interesting to gain in-depth knowledge of the perceptions on Lithuania’s brand and its future opportunities on the British market, which lead me to the following problem formulation: How can “Invest Lithuania” brand and position Lithuania on the British market in order to attract direct investments in the sector of service centres? Hence, through a set of research questions, this thesis aims to gain in-depth knowledge about Lithuania’s brand and answer the problem formulation. The purpose is to investigate:
1. How is the agency Invest Lithuania branding and positioning Lithuania in order to attract new British investors?
2. What is the image of Lithuania as a direct investment destination held by British investors?
3. What factors influence British investor’s decision to choose a particular market for their investments?
Qualitative semi-structured interviews were found as the best method to provide the researcher with multisided in-depth knowledge and to reveal different perspectives and perceptions of Lithuania’s brand held by two sides interviewed: the agency Invest Lithuania and the British investors.
The research results showed that once the British investors get to experience Lithuania, their perception of Lithuania is rather positive and the image they hold correlates with Lithuania’s brand identity presented by Invest Lithuania. The core Lithuania values and competences seem to satisfy major functional needs of the British investors: professional labour force, strategic geographic location, high quality of technologies, low costs, incentives and positive shared experiences that adds trustworthiness to Lithuania. However, the British investors see some weaknesses in Lithuania which obviously are not highlighted by Invest Lithuania but can deter some potential investors. According to the interviewed investors, the main problem in Lithuania is bureaucracy. Therefore, effort should be put in order to diminish it by making necessary changes in the legal system in Lithuania.
The main issue in regard to branding and positioning of Lithuania on the British market, is that Lithuania still is a well kept secret on the British market. British investors know almost nothing about it and, therefore, not even consider Lithuania as one of potential countries for their investments.
So, the main conclusion is that branding of Lithuania created by Invest Lithuania is heading in the right direction. This means that Invest Lithuania quite successfully developed Lithuania’s brand identity and identified its major values as they are able to satisfy the major needs of the British investors. On the other hand, this branding of Lithuania is not reaching its target audience. Thus, Invest Lithuania should focus instead on making a direct contact with British investors and present Lithuania for each of them personally.
Publication date2012
Number of pages120
Publishing institutionAAU
ID: 70849192