VILNIUS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The number of Lithuania-based financial technology companies increased by around 45 percent in 2018 as the country aimed to become a regional fintech hub, the Bank of Lithuania and the country's finance ministry revealed in a joint report on Friday.
According to the report, around 170 fintech companies operated in Lithuania in 2018, compared to 117 in 2017.
"We strive to strike a balance between speed and safety and to create a regulatory environment supportive to both business and the residents of Lithuania," Lithuanian Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka commented.
"Last year, our efforts were successful," he added.
Lithuania, a small Baltic country with a population of less than 3 million, tries to benefit from becoming a fintech licensing location for foreign companies that seek to provide financial services throughout Europe.
According to the report, around 30 percent of Lithuania's fintech ventures are established by international companies. Recently, Lithuania has granted licenses to Google, Revolut, Transfergo and Instarem.
"However, it does not mean that the doors are open to everyone. Market participants must meet our strict quality requirements," Marius Jurgilas, a member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, commented on the report.
Most of Lithuania's fintech companies provide payments, electronic money issuance, peer-to-peer lending and crowd-funding services, according to the Bank of Lithuania.