“Given that our business is definitely more entrepreneurial than that in older EU member states, Lithuania’s recovery will definitely be more rapid and substantial, even though the decline of the country’s economy will be broadly similar to that in other EU countries,” he told the Ziniu Radijas news radio on Thursday.

The current situation was highly uncertain, he said adding that the stability of the country’s economy before the crisis had a positive impact.

“We had the highest credit rating in our history, debt levels of our households, the general government and business were low in comparison to other countries and the country’s finances were managed in a responsible manner,” Sapoka said.

The previous crises had shown that the country’s business “is able to adapt to the situation rapidly”, the minister said.

“The majority of businesses will definitely emerge stronger from this crisis as they will discover new markets and create new products,” he added.

The European Commission sees Lithuania's gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by 7.9 percent this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in particular its dampening effect on domestic demand.

The projected economic slump in Lithuania is steeper than the declines forecast by the Commission for Latvia’s and Estonia’s GDP, which are expected to fall by 7 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

However, the recovery of Lithuania’s economy next year is now expected to be the most rapid among the Baltic countries. The Commission estimates that Lithuania’s GDP will expand by 7.4 percent, Latvia’s GDP – by 6.4 percent and Estonia’s GDP – by 5.9 percent in 2021.

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