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"Leaders of small and medium businesses who have always been demonstrating ability to meet new challenges will become a strong driving force for successful performance and competition in the domestic

President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus took part in the Gazelle 2008 award ceremony organised by the daily "Verslo žinios" (Business News).

Addressing to the participants of the ceremony, the President noted that the annual Gazelle award has become an honourable business-card of an enterprise which signifies about transparent activities of the enterprise, about its dynamism and ability to implement innovations. For many enterprises this award has become a perfect reference that helps in the search for customers and partners both in Lithuania and abroad.

"I strongly believe your example has encouraged more than one hesitant person to start his or her own business and thus contribute to his or her own well-being and that of other people. Because the growth of small and medium business is the main source of job creation and human well-being with direct impact on the whole economy of a country," the President underlined during the ceremony.

President Adamkus noted that small and medium-sized enterprises had been challenged by a shortage of high-skilled workforce in the past few years, and called on governmental authorities to hear and understand these problems and take the necessary decisions.

"I particularly hope that the new Government will implement at least some of its ambitious plans, e.g. reduce the administrative burden by as much as 30 per cent over the next few years," the President said.

President Adamkus also welcomed the initiative and the intentions to re-establish the Business Sunrise Forum.

"I trust the Forum will help to make regular assessments of business regulatory environment and contribute to the dialogue between businesses and public authorities," the President said.

Referring to the economic hardship in Lithuania, the President invited businesspeople not to give in to pessimistic attitudes, and expressed hope that leaders of small and medium businesses who had always been demonstrating flexibility, adaptability to changes and ability to meet new challenges would become a strong driving force for successful performance and competition in the domestic and foreign markets.

"I therefore sincerely wish that the current economic situation does not discourage your creativity but encourages you to make daring decisions that will lead your business to success," President Adamkus said.

The international Gazelle project has been successfully implemented in Lithuania for five years already. In 2007, three hundred eighty-nine Lithuanian enterprises were named Gazelles, the fastest-growing small and medium-sized enterprises.

This year, the top winner of the Gazelle 2008 award is the enterprise UAB Interneto partneris (Internet Partner) (

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