VILNIUS, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania recorded 43 percent increase of newly registered startups in 2017 compared to the previous year, more than half of them offering innovative digital payments, Invest Lithuania, the country's investment promotion agency, announced on Thursday.
"Lithuania can offer startups from non-EU countries access to the European market faster than other EU members," Mantas Katinas, managing director at Invest Lithuania, was quoted as saying in a statement.
Based on Lithuania Fintech Report 2017, a total of 117 fintech companies were operating in the country in 2017, with 35 of them being registered last year, the statement read.
According to the report, 96 percent of all fintechs in the country see Europe as their target market.
Flexible banking infrastructure, growing talent pool, liberal regulation and the ability to access half a billion customers in Europe were mentioned in the report as the reasons behind choosing Lithuania for startup activity.
According to the country's Statistics Department, there are around 31,500 IT specialists in Lithuania, with 8,800 more in the pipeline.
The Lithuanian government has recently approved of a Startup Visa program for entrepreneurs serving as a new talent attraction scheme that provides a streamlined entry process to the country's startup ecosystem for innovative highly-skilled non-EU entrepreneurs.
The Lithuanian Fintech Report 2017 was prepared by Invest Lithuania and Rise Vilnius, a Lithuania-based fintech startup hub.