As one of the largest employers in the region, the largest business centre in Western Lithuania and a close neighbour of Klaipėda residents, Klaipėda FEZ decided to perform the first professional resident opinion survey in December 2020 during which questions were presented on the Klaipėda region residents’ opinions of the FEZ and its companies, finding the most common associations, and favourable and unfavourable factors.
According to the survey, 93 per cent of Klaipėda region residents are aware of the Klaipėda FEZ, and more than half of respondents were familiar with the activities of the territory’s business community. Mostly, Klaipėda residents associate the FEZ with manufacturing, logistics, industry and plastics as well as recycling, while among the respondents, the most well-known companies in the FEZ were NEO Group, Yazaki, Orion Global PET, Fortum, and Espersen.
Residents were also asked about the reputation and reliability of Klaipėda FEZ. Eighty per cent of respondents were fully or partially in agreement with the statement that Klaipėda FEZ has a good reputation, and 78 per cent of respondents indicated they view the Klaipėda FEZ business community positively, while 70 per cent indicated they trusted the community.
Among the residents familiar with the FEZ’s operations, the most positively received factors were the FEZ’s significant contribution to the regional and state economies (52 per cent), prospective and growing business community (51 per cent), the innovations and advanced solutions implemented at the FEZ (47 per cent), well organised and excellently managed business (47 per cent) and exports (42 per cent). Respondents also mentioned they view the Klaipėda FEZ ecosystem as an appealing employer for specialists in various domains as it is perceived as one that is transparent, fair and responsible. They also wish it to continue developing, attracting new investment and creating jobs, while remaining sustainable and environmentally friendly.
According to Klaipėda FEZ CEO Eimantas Kiudulas, this survey has reaffirmed the close connection between the city’s residents and the FEZ. “It is great to see not only positive responses but also the Klaipėda residents being aware of the FEZ’s contribution to the region’s economic development and success. The successes of our community are the achievement of everyone who works here – workers, specialists or researchers, as well as all their family members. This survey inspires us to continue deepening our ties to the local community and involve it in the various activities of our companies,” says E. Kiudulas.
He also emphasises that Klaipėda FEZ will aim to continue developing a dialogue with city residents, thanks to which it is able to implement projects that generate value. An example of this would be the recently launched airflow monitoring system.
“The survey has indicated that Klaipėda residents not only are aware of and trust the Klaipėda FEZ business community but also see it as an engine for the region’s economy and innovation, as well as an appealing employer for specialists of various domains. Such high recognition is not a frequent occurrence in reputation studies! It shows the residents’ openness to dialogue and cooperation, and it is an important aspect of development potential,” says Rūta Gaudiešienė, partner at Civitta, who performed the survey.
The online survey included 500 residents of Klaipėda county aged 18-74. Klaipėda FEZ also plans to perform such surveys in the future.
Currently, Klaipėda FEZ’s territory is host to 45 clients, with the combined sum of attracted and planned-for implementation investment reaching 726 million euros. In 2019, the companies at Klaipėda FEZ generated a combined turnover of 1.16 billion euros and 542 million euros in exports. These indicators are close to three per cent of Lithuania’s entire GDP and exports. In total, the FEZ territory has more than 100 companies operating in it, and almost 6,000 staff members.