Lithuania Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public Holidays

Introduction

Czechs are received with sympathy in Lithuania, but to enter Lithuania you need to be prepared not only in terms of the offer, but also in terms of language. The minimum is English, ideally in combination, and Russian, especially in traditional technical fields. It is necessary to prepare the promotion, website. It is essential to prepare well for the meeting, not to underestimate the presentation, clothes, to act professionally and politely. It should be perceived that a distinct Lithuanian characteristic is pragmatism and a certain reservedness.

Addressing

International trade fairs held in Vilnius are suitable ways to make first contacts with local partners and gain market information. The Embassy of the Czech Republic can be helpful both in researching the local market and in finding potential Lithuanian partners, contacting them and inviting them to the company’s stand. Support from the embassy is an important element in demonstrating the seriousness of a Czech company, especially for negotiations with central authorities and state-owned enterprises. Trade missions and presentations of Czech companies organized in the embassy premises for a defined circle of customers are also a suitable way to establish the first contacts with local partners. The patronage of the embassy is valued locally, so the companies presented enjoy higher respect.

Business meeting

Business meetings are usually arranged in advance by phone or email. It is a good idea to request a meeting a week in advance and clearly specify the topic of the meeting so that the relevant persons are present at the meeting. Business meetings usually take place in the office. After a successful meeting, there may be a joint dinner and, in the case of an important business event, a visit to a social or cultural enterprise. There are also cases where the business meeting takes place directly in the restaurant, for example as part of lunch. When meeting for the first time, partners usually exchange business cards. It is advisable to have business cards printed in English. The type of business card does not matter much, an unusual or original business card can attract recognition. Gifts are common aids during negotiations. Czech products here have a good sound and are well known. As a gift, becherovka, slivovice, Czech wine, Czech glass, a high-quality writing set or calendar, etc. If a lady is participating in the meeting, flowers are a very suitable gift. Of course, a tasteful and representative packaging for the gift is given.

  • PaulSourcing: Tips and recommendations for doing business with Lithuania. Also includes country basic data and information for entering the its market.

In Lithuania, working hours start at 8 or 9 a.m. The lunch break is usually an hour, either between 12-13 or 13-14. It usually ends at 5-6 p.m. The most suitable time to start a business meeting is 10. to 11 a.m. The possibility of success of the meeting will undoubtedly increase if it can continue at lunch time in the restaurant. At business lunches, it is possible that the host will offer you a glass of wine or beer with the meal. Evening meetings are not very common. However, it always depends on the agreement and other circumstances of the negotiations. Meeting dates must be observed. The Czech side must prepare for the fact that the presence at presentations, cocktails or other business, marketing or social events is not confirmed, even if the recipients of the invitation are invited to do so. On the other hand, confirmation of participation is not a guarantee that the interested party will actually come to the event.

Prestige and self-presentation have more weight in Lithuania than in the Czech Republic. In addition to the transport function, the car also has an important representational function. So far, a larger used car represents better than a small new car. The Škoda brand has a good reputation in Lithuania, it is considered high-quality and more expensive. Therefore, for example, Octavia will represent you well, Superb even better.

Dressing is not very different from our customs. A classic darker suit with a tie is suitable for most occasions. In summer, you can also use a light jacket or less formal clothes. Obvious casualness, men’s earrings and gold chains are not the best business cards for entering serious business circles. Formal perfection, which is a sign of respect for the partner, is always appreciated.

Good preparation for the meeting and a professional and polite speech are essential. Most Lithuanians negotiate hard – they don’t rush to make concessions and don’t like to do it. They ask a lot about details because they value caution, carefully prepare for meetings and go straight to the point. They do not show any emotions during negotiations and always notice what brand of clothing their partner is wearing.

The overwhelming majority of Lithuanians are Christians, the majority are Catholics, and it can be stated that for them home, family and work are at the top of the list of values, and patterns of behavior and actions mainly stem from Christian morality. There is a high degree of seriousness and reliability in business dealings, however, caution is required in the approach to business partners. We recommend that every more serious meeting be documented, if an agreement has been reached on terms and financial matters, a proper written business contract must always be concluded. Both the Czech Republic and Lithuania regularly rank at the bottom of the ranking of EU countries’ payment ethics.

When negotiating with the Czechs, the Lithuanians always prefer to emphasize the similarities rather than the differences between the two nations. As a citizen of the Czech Republic, you will be received with sympathy in Lithuania. The Czech Republic is perceived as a country that also suffered under the rule of the Soviet Union and is now doing well. If you too show sympathy and understanding for Lithuania, you will create prerequisites for success in your business affairs.

Silence and non-verbal communication during business negotiations do not work in Lithuania. Things need to be presented rationally and qualified. Even in unpleasant phases of negotiations, it is recommended to remain calm and not reveal your emotions or feelings of disappointment. If there is a need to express disagreement, it is recommended to do so indirectly but clearly. You can respond to an unacceptable proposal by announcing that it is possible to accept the proposal, but it results in consequences that would be difficult for the other party to accept. Uncalculated increased expenses are valid arguments. Once the Lithuanian side communicates its conclusion, it is difficult to change it.

In the Lithuanian corporate culture, hierarchical differences manifest themselves more consistently than in the Czech Republic. Therefore, it is not possible to invite the director and a lower-ranking employee to the meeting at the same time. It is necessary for the Czech side to have a partner at the appropriate hierarchical level during negotiations. If you want to deal with someone at a lower level, their superior must know about it. The age and gender composition of the team does not play a fundamental role, the meeting is most often led by the director or someone authorized by him and with him representatives for the individual areas under discussion, who comment only on them.

Differences in business dealings between city and province in Lithuania are similar to other countries. Gradually, it matters less and less whether the negotiations take place with ethnic Lithuanians, or whether the partner in the negotiations is a Lithuanian Pole, Russian or member of another minority. From the experience of Czech merchants, it follows that Russians tend to orient their trade to the east, Lithuanians and Poles prefer trade to the west. Contacts with Russians can thus help other contacts, for example to Latvia, Belarus or Russia.

Communication

Good language skills of Lithuanians are reflected in business relations. Practically all (95.6%) speak at least one foreign language, most of them know English and Russian. Young people mostly choose English for negotiations with foreign partners, but some still prefer Russian. Other languages ​​are practically not used, and interpreters are hardly present in normal business negotiations. When it comes to negotiations at the offices, it is good to have a Lithuanian helper with you who, in addition to the language, also manages the “technology” of official arrangements. When it comes to serious negotiations, it is advisable to secure a proper interpreter, who can also be recommended by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Vilnius. Visit Aparentingblog for more information about Lithuania culture and traditions.

In Lithuania, it is addressed in written form as “Dear Sir/Dear Madam” (Gerbiamas pone /gerbiama ponia). In Lithuania, you will usually encounter the use of the first name and swearing, which is a pleasant thing, because many Lithuanian surnames are initially difficult for Czechs to remember. The transition to ticking is not very common.

Always confirm each meeting in advance and be punctual: to successfully handle all business matters, you need to plan your time carefully in advance and get the final confirmation a few days before the meetings. This is due to the high occupancy rate of each company’s managers, which you must reach if you want to make any commercial progress (it is advisable to avoid middle and low managers, except when they can help you reach the top management of the company). Punctuality is an essential trait in Lithuania (meetings are routinely attended 5 minutes before the agreed time) and lateness is commonly seen as an obvious lack of respect.

Try to be serious and efficient during business negotiations in Lithuania: Lithuanian managers do not waste time during their business conversations. They will go straight to the heart of each problem and try to determine in which aspects of cooperation there can be mutual benefit. Likewise, lack of seriousness (promising something that is beyond your capabilities, competence and ability, making promises and not keeping promises, changing the agenda at the last minute, making jokes about local culture or personal habits) can seriously damage your image with potential Lithuanian customers and partners.

Lithuanian business partners are generally hospitable and friendly towards foreigners. During the meeting itself, it is appropriate – if it is a first contact – to mention positive experiences from Lithuania or to express admiration for the rich Lithuanian history. A good topic is to draw attention to elements of common Czech-Lithuanian history or the present (Jan Hus, Jan Žižka, Prague, Karlovy Vary, Giant Mountains). Lithuanians are patriots and are more proud of their country and symbols of statehood than Czechs. The country’s history is perceived more sensitively here than in the Czech Republic. If the conversation touches on some Lithuanian problems, it is recommended to adopt an understanding attitude and, knowing our own circumstances, not to elaborate on the matter. Lithuanians are not willing to talk about their private lives and brag about their achievements, but they are happy to discuss sports with you, especially basketball, which is considered a second religion in Lithuania. It’s a good idea to show your partners how the company works in the Czech Republic, so they can make sure of your seriousness. For the sake of rapprochement and deepening of trust, it is good to keep in touch constantly.

Recommendation

The Lithuanian market is globalized. The basic condition is quality goods and a competitive price supplemented by favorable payment terms. The supplier must meet all logistics requirements, such as delivery dates, marking and packaging of goods, etc. The price level in the Lithuanian business sector depends primarily on production costs, however, a relatively high share of various intermediaries contributes to its further increase, as well as a reduced level of competition. Before entering the market, it is necessary to carry out a thorough market research and prepare at least a basic business plan – expected volume of business, assortment, costs of penetrating the Lithuanian market, analysis of competition, method of promotion, etc. Ideas that goods that will not be accepted could be used here Western European market, they are wrong. Lithuanians exercise good taste, not only in clothing and personal presentation. Newly built commercial buildings have interesting architecture, the interiors of restaurants and hotels tend to be original. Company executives have a good personal level and a good idea of ​​the market situation in the field. The country’s market is relatively small and people in business circles know each other well, so many business matters are handled through an acquaintance or an acquaintance of an acquaintance. For Czech companies that want to be permanently present on the market, it is important to have a person here who can penetrate these relationships and become part of them. Interpersonal relations and relevant connections (even in a positive sense) are of extraordinary importance for business in Lithuania.

Public Holidays

  • January 1 – New Year
  • February 16 – Day of Restoration of the Lithuanian State (the main holiday of the year). In 1918, the Council of Lithuania signed the Declaration on the Independence of Lithuania.
  • March 11 – Day of restoration of Lithuania’s independence. In 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of an Independent State.
  • Easter Monday (movable holiday)
  • May 1 – Labor Day
  • 1st Sunday in May – Mother’s Day
  • 1st Sunday in June – Father’s Day
  • June 24 – St. John
  • July 6 – State Day. Coronation of Grand Duke Mindaugas (r. 1253).
  • August 15 – Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • November 1 – 2 – All Souls’ Day – All Saints’ Day
  • December 24-26 – Christmas holidays

Lithuania Culture of Business