** Due to COVID-19, we encourage all suppliers to promote their products on the Lithuanian Marketplace, our flagship program for export promotion.
Q: What is the Lithuanian Marketplace?
A: The Lithuanian Marketplace is a “free” business-to-business trading platform created by the Lithuanian Trade Council. Similar to the way Alibaba.com was established to promote Chinese made products for China and IndiaMart.com for India. The Lithuanian Marketplace is becoming the fastest growing digital resource for Lithuanian goods and services and our efforts are generating results. For example, in October 2020, we facilitated the shipment of eight 40ft ocean containers of SAWN lumber to a buyer in India. Our reputation as a trusted and reliable B2B trading platform is growing across international markets.
Q: Who can register to Become a Vendor?
A: We invite all Lithuanian company’s to showcase their products and services on the Lithuanian Marketplace. Whether your a large company or selling products as a home based entrepreneur, we invite everyone to become a part of our online community. In addition, we are expanding the marketplace to include “Services Providers” for hotels, machine shops, graphic designers, technology providers and more.
Q: If the Lithuanian Marketplace is free, how is the Trade Council funded?
A: The Lithuanian Trade Council, is currently funded by private donors. All of our staff are American-Lithuanian volunteers and dedicated members of Lithuanian Hall. The Lithuanian Trade Council is also an official organization of Lithuanian Hall.
Q: How are buyers finding the Lithuanian Marketplace?
A: The Lithuanian Trade Council is investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) resources. We have contracted with SEO experts in India who work daily to improve our SEO exposure with Google and Bing.
Q: As a Lithuanian company, we would like to increase our sales in the United States. How can the Lithuanian Trade Council assist?
A: The Lithuanian Trade Council represents a select number of partners to the United States. In these cases, we enter into a simple Representative Agreement to generate new sales opportunities..
Q: We have an existing distributor selling some of our products today in the U.S. How would a relationship with the Lithuanian Trade Council affect our distributor?
A: As the trade council, we believe it is wonderful you have a distributor in the U.S. Our objective is to establish strategic house accounts for you through major retailers like Walmart, Target and the larger grocery store chains that operate hundreds of stores. In fact, if we needed to fulfill an order with anything less than a 40ft shipping container, we would prefer to channel those orders to your distributor which brings added value to the relationship. We believe having a distributor in the U.S. is a win-win for everyone!
Q: How can the Lithuanian Trade Council can sell products to major retailers as a 3rd party when everyone is trying to eliminate the middle man?
A: Our preferred method is to actually approach the customer under your business name. For example, we represent companies in Lithuania who have listed us on their corporate website under “Contact Us” as their official U.S. office, and as an extension of their brand. They provide us with an email address along with business cards featuring their logo. We can provide a dedicated phone number for the business and answer all calls as the brand. This enables us to transparently engage buyers as the supplier’s brand for all U.S. business activities.
For other supplier’s, we do promote their products under the Lithuanian Trade Council, explaining to buyers that we are promoting Lithuania based companies in the U.S.
Q: Are there any upfront fees to do business with the Lithuanian Trade Council and what is your core focus?
A: No, we are established to help companies like yours do business. Our overhead is low and our leadership is dedicated to helping Lithuanian businesses succeed. Our core focus is to develop exports for your company.
Q: We would like to establish a formal business entity in the United States. How can the Lithuanian Trade Council assist?
A: The Lithuanian Trade Council has an attorney on staff that could register your business and fulfill the role as Maryland Agent for Service. This would require him to write the Articles of Incorporation for your business and file the proper documents at the State court house. After receipt confirmation that your business has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation, we can then apply for a United States Federal Identification Number (also called an EIN Number). The EIN enables the business to open a bank account and facilitate payroll tax deposits should you wish to hire employees. After completing this process, your new company is fully capable to enter into business agreements with national customers, obtain auto and business liability insurance and more. In most cases, we also allow our clients to utilize the Lithuanian Trade Council’s business address at 851 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 as their mailing address.
Q: As a Lithuanian business, we would like to setup an office in the United States. Can we relocate one of our employees from Lithuania to Baltimore to help develop sales for the products we produce. How can the Lithuanian Trade Council assist?
A: We encourage this type of arrangement. It’s always beneficial to have a company representative in the U.S. who is the expert for the products you manufacturer or produce. While meeting with customers, your employee can explain the company’s history, culture along with all aspects of product manufacture, production capabilities and award winning industry certificates. The Lithuanian Trade Council can assist with obtaining VISAs for your employee(s). We can help with finding them an apartment to live and provide your company with a hoteling office within the Trade Council facility. This will enable us to work closely together to develop a sales strategy and collaborate daily to make your investment pay off.
Q: What other services can the Lithuanian Trade Council provide?
A: We can provide assistance on many different levels including:
- Working with retailers to support product returns, product warranty claims and local customer service support, spare parts fulfillment, warehousing and transportation solutions.
- Providing intelligence as to your competitors.
- Assisting with obtaining UPC bar code symbols for product packaging on the item level, inner pack, case packaging and pallet.
- Storage of product samples and more.
- Building a dealer network and product repair solution for various types of equipment.
Q: How can we get started?
A: We suggest that you register your company as a supplier. Someone from the Lithuanian Trade Council will then contact you. Thank You