VILNIUS - Lithuania has opened its trade representative office in Taiwan on Monday, the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation confirmed it to BNS.
"Today, we can appreciate the first achievements of Lithuania's economic cooperation with Taiwan. I have no doubt that with the opening of Lithuania's trade representative office in Taipei, our work with this promising market will be further intensified," Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite told BNS.
Paulius Lukauskas will lead the new representative office following his appointment in August. The opening was initially planned in September.
The new establishment will be called Lithuania's Representative Office in Taipei, not Taiwan, under the existing practice established within the international community to avoid any hint of international relations with the island China considers to be part of its territory and vows to eventually take back.
Lithuanian officials also stress that the representative office will be commercial, not diplomatic.
On Monday, the first investment of the Taiwan-established Central and Eastern European Investment Fund (CEEIF) will be officially announced in Vilnius. The Taiwanese fund will invest in Lithuanian laser company Litilit. The fund will be used for joint ventures, investment projects and start-ups in high-tech areas.
Taiwan is also expected to announce on Monday its cooperation with Lithuania's semiconductor sector and Lithuanian company Teltonika, a semiconductor maker.
Taiwan's Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) plans to provide a loan guarantee for two joint Lithuanian-Taiwanese companies in the near future. The total amount of the loans stands at 9 million euros.
Armonaite says Lithuania has a goal of consolidating its position in this Asian region, expanding exports of Lithuanian lasers and biotechnologies, as well as food products.
"Taiwanese business investment is very welcome in Lithuania as we continue to pursue our ambitious goal of launching semiconductor production in the country and further strengthening its laser and other innovative technology manufacturing sector," the minister said.
As relations between Lithuania and Taiwan began to deepen, Taiwan opened its representative office in Vilnius last fall.
China viewed this step as Lithuania's support for Taiwan's independence and downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania and imposed trade restrictions.