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Lithuania

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Lithuania country brief

Political overview

Lithuania regained independence on 11 March 1990 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Legislative power is vested in the Seimas, a unicameral parliament with 141 members who are elected in direct elections for a four-year term. The executive body is the Government, which is made up of the Prime Minister and a Cabinet of 14 ministers. The head of state is the President, who is elected in a direct election to a term of office of five years, for no more than two consecutive terms.

Foreign policy

Lithuania’s foreign policy is carried out by the President and the Government. Lithuania joined the United Nations (UN) in 1991 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the same year. Lithuania joined the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2018 and the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Lithuania has close times with the Nordic and Baltic countries. Lithuania is a member of the Baltic Assembly, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Nordic-Baltic Eight and the European Union’s Nordic Battle Group.

In 2023, Lithuania released its Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Bilateral relations

Australia was one of the first countries to recognise Lithuania’s return to independence in August 1991. Australia and Lithuania established diplomatic relations in 1991 and have friendly relations, based on shared interests and close people-to-people links. As of the 2021 Australian census, there were 2,582 people born in Lithuania in Australia and 19,430 Australian residents of Lithuanian descent.

Australia and Lithuania share a commitment to the fundamental values of democracy, peace and free trade.

Lithuania has an Embassy in Canberra, a Consulate-General in Melbourne and Sydney, and Consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin.

Fast facts

  • Lithuanian visitors to Australia (visitor arrivals - 2022) – 1,070
  • Australian visitors to Lithuania (resident returns - 2022) – 590
  • Resident Australian population born in Lithuania (2021 census) – 2,582
  • Australian residents of Lithuanian descent (2021 census) – 19,430

High level engagement

  • October 2023 — Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda visited Australia and met with Prime Minister Albanese and Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas, who is of Lithuanian descent.
  • July 2023 — Prime Minister Albanese visited Vilnius for the NATO Summit, the first Australian Prime Minister to visit Lithuania, where he met with President Nausėda.
  • February 2022 — Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis visited Australia to meet Australia's political, business, and Lithuanian communities.

Agreements and Arrangements with Lithuania

  • 2002 — Investment Promotion and Protection
  • 1993 — Trade and Economic Cooperation

Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.

Public diplomacy

The Australian Embassy in Warsaw takes opportunities to promote Australian culture and values in Lithuania.

Economic diplomacy

In 2022, Australia's two-way goods and services trade with Lithuania was valued at $281 million. Trade was dominated by merchandise imports from Lithuania.

Australia’s primary import from Lithuania was simply worked wood. Other imports included furniture, chemical products, telecommunications equipment, and dairy products. Australia's major exports were education-related travel, services, vehicle parts and accessories, recreational travel and wool and other animal hair.

More economic and trade information on Lithuania [PDF].

Business

Austrade opened an office in Vilnius in 2023. Niche investment opportunities exist in several sectors of the Lithuanian economy. Laser/optics, life sciences and financial technologies are in demand – Lithuania has a significant and growing fintech sector and the sector is a priority for the government.

Lithuania launched a Startup Visa program in 2017 to encourage citizens from outside the EU, including Australia, to set up businesses in Lithuania. Australia also encourages startup investment by Lithuanian businesses.

Austrade's Vilnius office assists Australian companies to build and implement their export strategies. Austrade offers practical advice, market intelligence, and ongoing support to Australian companies seeking to grow their business in Lithuania. Austrade also works to attract productive foreign direct investment into Australia and promote R&D collaboration.

Australian Embassy

The Australian Embassy in Warsaw is responsible for Australia’s relations with Lithuania.

Australia has a Consulate in Vilnius, headed by an Honorary Consul.

Travel

See Smartraveller for information on travelling to Lithuania.

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