Taiwanese company to ship face mask production lines to Czechia
Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Two of the five automated medical face mask production lines that a Taiwanese manufacturer promised to donate to the Czech Republic will be shipped in the coming days, a company executive told CNA recently.
"The equipment, to be transported via a 40-foot container, will leave Kaohsiung next week," said Kuo Li-lin (郭立霖), general manager of Autoland Technology Co., Ltd., a machinery manufacturer in southern Taiwan.
"The containers are expected to arrive in Germany after 40 days and then be transported to Prague by train," he said.
The donation represents the company's appreciation of Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil's support for Taiwan, according to Kuo.
Vystrčil visited Taiwan in late August despite stern warnings from China, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory and frowns on any interactions by the international community that can be seen as recognizing Taiwan's sovereignty.
Prior to Vystrčil's departure from Taiwan, Autoland announced a plan to donate five medical face mask production lines to the Czech Republic to help the country control the COVID-19 outbreak.
The seemingly simple donation was met by several hurdles, however, including domestic politics, the independency among government branches, legal requirements in the Czech Republic, and the lack of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, sources said.
To expedite the donation, Vystrčil has convened at least three virtual meetings with the Taiwan side, in which Taiwan's representative to the Czech Republic, Ke Liang-ruey (柯良叡), took part, sources said.
Meanwhile, according to Kuo, of the five production lines, four will be provided to InoCure, a Czech company focused on nanotechnology development, based on a business-to-business model.
InoCure will then establish a new company with Good Mask, a Czech face mask manufacturer, to begin production, Kuo said. Under the plan, five percent of the produced masks will be given to the Czech Senate for distribution to government agencies and medical institutions.
InoCure CEO Matej Buzgo and expert Miroslav Doupník arrived in Taiwan in early December to learn how to operate the machines and returned to Prague on Saturday, Kuo said.
Meanwhile, according to information provided by Autoland, the four production lines are capable of producing 160,000 "high-end 3D masks" a day when running 20-hour shifts.
As to the fifth production line, Vystrčil has told local media in Prague that the two sides plan to carry out the donation based on a government-to-government (G2G) model.
The G2G plan, however, may be changed due to various factors, sources said.
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