Lithuania is working very closely with the Egyptian government and other institutions to organise the second meeting of the so-called joint commission between Egypt and Lithuania, in Lithuania, by the end of the year, headed by the two foreign ministries. It is still not officially confirmed, according to Arvydas Daunoravičius, Lithuania’s ambassador to Egypt.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, he added that the joint commission will focus on economical, technological, and scientific cooperation.
“The investment is moving slowly, so I think we should now concentrate first on trade, when trade comes, investments will follow,” he said.
In that context, he revealed that the trade exchange between Egypt and Lithuania is still very small, stating that last year Lithuania targeted €70m, describing this amount as nothing compared to the potential that exists on both sides.
“We are targeting further economic developments between the two countries,” he asserted.
The ambassador shared that the lack of direct flights is considered one of the challenges against having more Lithuanian investments in Egypt.
“We are working in the framework of the commission. We need to sign certain agreements and maybe then discuss operating direct flights. We are making minor attempts but let’s see how it will work” he explained.
“Also, the second thing is that as a European Union country, we have a certain set of clear rules, and on the other hand the rules in Egypt are different, so we need to adapt to the rules and regulations in Egypt, which is not always easy and takes time,” he added.
Talking about tourism, the ambassador stated that there is an extremely high number of tourists from Lithuania coming to Egypt every year, and this number is growing annually.
“For us, Egypt is one of the top, and if not, the top tourist destination,” he asserted.
The ambassador showed that on average there are 50,000 Lithuanian tourists coming to Egypt every year depending on the year.
He explained that 50,000 is quite a large number of tourists for such a small country like Lithuania, which has a population of only 3 million.
Daunoravičius continued that during the high seasons, Lithuania has between eight and 10 direct charter flights per week, covering the destinations of Hurgahada, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Marsa Allam.
He further stated that during the low seasons the number of flights gets slightly smaller.
Furthermore, Daunoravičius, also stated that the Lithuanian tourist does not visit just once a year. It turns out tourists from Lithuania prefer to visit about two or three times a year as Egypt enjoys very good weather throughout the year, excluding the very short cold winter and the very hot summer. The other nine months Lithuanian tourists come and go multiple times in a year to enjoy the warm sea and sunny weather.
Moreover, the ambassador declared that he noticed that Lithuanian tourists are climbing higher, and paying for four or five or five plus stars hotels, showing an increase in average spending.
“Egypt has all the gifts to be the top tourist destination for a big part of the world, so its potential to grow is enormous. If the security situation remains stable, I think Egypt will be flooded with tourists,” he concluded.