VILNIUS – Lithuania's economy and innovation minister says "it's impossible to completely eliminate China" and believes relations with the communist country "will recover", despite the deterioration of Lithuanian-Chinese relations after the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius last year.
"It's impossible to completely eliminate China in a global world where all our value chains are intertwined. Despite being a communist country, it has invested heavily in high technology. I hope that trade with this country will recover," Ausrine Armonaite told the Lithuanian business news website vz.lt.
"Lithuania and the EU are taking steps to ensure that this happens, but a lot depends on them as well. After all, it was not Lithuania that sanctioned itself," the minister added.
Lithuania's exports to China dropped by 67 percent to 60.7 million euros in January-September, while exports of goods of Lithuanian origin alone fell by 81.5 percent to 25.7 million euros, according to data from Lithuania's statistics service, Statistics Lithuania.
In response to the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius, Beijing restricted diplomatic relations with Lithuania and blocked the country's exports. This led the European Union to turn to the World Trade Organization early this year.
Lithuania opened its own trade office in Taipei earlier this month.