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Lithuanian Companies Engaged in Amber Business Joined a Cluster Aiming for Expansion Abroad

A group of companies engaged in the Lithuanian amber business received the EU support for a new Cluster “Amber Trip”. The companies operating in it will work together in order to increase export of the Lithuanian amber as well as awareness of the trademark “Amber made in Lithuania” and will penetrate new markets.

The Cluster unites 10 Lithuanian companies engaged in production and distribution of amber jewellery: “RMD Linija”, “Sidabrinė kamėja”, “Napoleonas”, “Amber Tree”, “Max Solaris”, “Pajūrio Krantas”, E. Dunauskas’ Company, Dainius Milius’ ŪKĮ [Economic Commercial Company], “Amberlita” and “Amber Trip”.

Companies engaged in amber production (there were 40 of them) joined a cluster for the first time in 2013, a quarter of these companies have also become the members of the new Cluster “Amber Trip”, which was established in August in 2016 and started project activities in the beginning of December. Currently 260 employees work for the companies operating in the Cluster.

Giedrius Guntorius, the head of the company, which organizes “Amber Trip”, the only exhibition of jewellery and amber articles in the Baltic States, and one of the initiators of the Cluster, said that establishment of the Cluster was prompted by the retracting Chinese market, problems with raw amber, and the desire to increase awareness of the Lithuanian amber industry. The Cluster gives an excellent opportunity for amber jewellery makers to take advantage of their potential on the markets.

“The market is highly competitive, but we can achieve much more, if we work together. Not all companies, which joined the Cluster, are very big, but they have customers both in Lithuania and all over the world” G. Guntorius said.

Objectives of the Cluster

The head of “Amber Trip” named the main objectives the companies operating in the Cluster: to increase awareness of the Lithuanian amber and its export, to find new buyers on foreign markets.

“We will seek our goals by increasing the popularity of Lithuanian amber products with trademark “Amber made in Lithuania”, we will actively participate in international events. Some of the prerequisites of successful operation and development of the Cluster include the need to join international networks, to increase awareness of the Cluster on foreign markets, to analyse potential new markets, and, finally, to attract new members, which would result in the scopes of cluster competences”, G. Guntorius said.

Plans associated with the Project include conducting detailed market studies and development of marketing tools for the Cluster designed for increasing of product awareness. Products made by the companies operating in the Cluster would be marked with trademark “Amber made in Lithuania”, the companies would also represent this trademark at various events and exhibitions.

“The companies operating in the Cluster would invest their own funds in analysis of the raw amber market. We still have some problems with purchasing raw amber from Ukraine: this is why it is so important to make sure that the Cluster worked together in order to resolve these problems”, G. Guntorius said.

The work has already gained momentum

The companies operating in the Cluster would visit eleven countries within the period of two years, where they would present both the company and amber products. The companies would visit Poland, China, Turkey, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, the USA, and Russia. Currently the demand for amber products has reached its peak on these markets.

“The drop in purchase scopes in China enabled recovery of other markets were amber used to be popular. These are the countries, which were not among the top markets due to booming amber purchases in Asia”, G. Guntorius explained.

In July the representatives of the companies operating in the Cluster have already attended “Amber Forum”, which was organized by the Kaliningrad Amber Factory. Cluster “Amber Trip” has taken this opportunity for presentation of both the products and the new trademark.

Last month the members of the Cluster met with the representatives of 12 Ukrainian companies holding licences entitling them to mine and export amber. The Ukrainian companies were recommended joining an association and cooperating with Cluster “Amber Trip”, which would be beneficial to the companies in terms of sales of the Ukrainian amber all over the world.

“Russia, which has 95 percent of all raw amber mines on a global a scale, is already predictable to the companies operating in the Cluster, thus now we mostly focus on Ukraine. Currently amber artists in Lithuania work with amber from Poland, Russia, but we tell that we work with the Baltic amber. We want to work with the Ukrainian amber as well”, G. Guntorius said.

According to him, Cluster “Amber Trip” supports the standpoint that we should not exploit the Lithuanian amber mines on the Baltic seaside.

The Lithuanian authorities decided to allow mining amber for commercial purposes, however, the call for tendering for amber prospect and mining in the Curonian Lagoon near Juodkrantė in 2016 did not attract any investors.

It is estimated that there are approximately 112 tons of Baltic amber in the Curonian Lagoon. The representatives of amber business are more inclined to implement the idea of amber mining near the shores in Juodkrantė for educational purposes rather than mining amber for commercial purposes and to use this as means for spreading the word about the exclusive Lithuanian amber as a symbol of the country’s history and traditions.

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