On Thursday Lithuanian Algirdas Butkevičius is leaving for a week-long official visit to India and while it should be a journey in search of new markets for Lithuanian companies, there is not a single entrepreneur accompanying the prime minister on the visit.
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“The Foreign Ministry was anxious for me to go to that visit, so why should I withdraw it?” said Butkevičius.

The prime minister will be accompanied by the head of Lithuanian Business Confederation Valdas Sutkus on the trip and said there were reasons for the lack of entrepreneurs on the trip.

“This is a new market for us, so we're going to look around. Why there are no businessmen? In Eastern countries it is important for a high ranking official to make a visit first, business contacts are made after that,” said Sutkus.

Sutkus also said that there have been previous trade missions to India by Lithuanian businesses but that it had been a hard market to crack for Lithuanian producers.

Last year Lithuanian exports to India were worth €50.9 million which is about as much as the country was exported to Japan, according to the Department of Statistics. Lithuania imported goods worth €51.7 million from India.