VILNIUS – A Taiwanese delegation of officials and business people will visit Lithuania in late October, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The 65-member delegation will also visit Slovakia and the Czech Republic between October 20 and 30.
Chen Li-kuo, the head of the Taiwanese ministry's European affairs department, said the aim of the visits is to promote trade ties and investment.
"We have continued to deepen our relations with Central and Eastern European countries [...] in a demonstration of solidarity and friendship among international democratic partners," he told a virtual press briefing.
Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas told BNS that a "huge business delegation" will come to the country.
"[The visit will focus] on investment, opening of markets and economic cooperation", Adomenas said. "This is great news because we have not had delegations of this level before."
"If we look at the Czech Republic, where they have created 24,000 jobs over the last decades, something like this in Lithuania would be very useful," he said, noting that this "is not a political delegation".
Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite wrote on Facebook later on Tuesday that 40 representatives of Taiwanese companies, business associations and other organizations are expected to visit Lithuania on October 26-29.
"Looking forward to welcome #TAIWAN economic delegation to #Lithuania in October: ~40 business & other representatives in semiconductor, #ICT, finance, tourism, electric vehicle, fintech, #biotechnology, foods, smart city, & cybersecurity!" she tweeted.
The Taiwanese are interested in "opportunities to invest in Lithuania, to cooperate with our companies, to buy Lithuanian products and to organize tourist trips for Taiwanese people to our country", Armonaite posted on Facebook.
"The delegation will be accompanied by the heads of several Taiwanese ministries," she wrote.
Vilnius has already been taking steps to create active contacts between Lithuanian and Taiwanese businesses, Armonaite said, adding that several dozen Lithuanian companies, mainly food and cosmetics producers, are planning to participate in the Lithuanian-Taiwanese Business Days to be held online September 15.
"A meeting of tourism companies will take place in October," she posted.
Armonaite, who is currently on a visit to the United States, noted that meetings with the US-based Taiwanese business community are taking place, too.
Relations between Vilnius and Beijing have turned sour recently over Lithuania's strengthening ties with Taiwan, which China regards as a rebellious province.
In August, China recalled its ambassador to Vilnius for consultations and demanded that Lithuania withdraw its envoy to Beijing.
Diana Mickeviciene, the Lithuanian ambassador, returned to Vilnius for consultations in early September.
Also, China has recently started halting freight trains to Lithuania and stopped issuing food export permits, and cut credit limits for Lithuanian companies and raised prices.