Lithuania hopes to open trade office in Taiwan this fall: report

07/08/2021 04:38 PM
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Aušrinė Armonaitė. Photo taken from facebook.com/ausrine.armonaite
Aušrinė Armonaitė. Photo taken from facebook.com/ausrine.armonaite

Berlin, July 8 (CNA) Lithuania's Economic and Innovation Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė hopes to open a Lithuanian trade office in Taiwan in October or November, according to a report from Germany's public broadcaster.

Armonaitė said opening up more representative offices in new markets is part of her mission as an economic minister because Lithuania is an export-driven economy, according to the report from Deutsche Welle (DW), published on Thursday

She added that the shortage of microchips in Lithuania and other European countries is another reason for the need to establish a closer trade relationship with Taiwan, a key manufacturer of semiconductors, the report said.

Armonaitė said the move to establish a trade office in Taiwan is not entirely about trade, noting that it also reflects the friendship that Taiwan and Lithuania have established in the early 1990s, according to the report.

Armonaitė also mentioned how Taiwan supported Lithuanians and other Baltic states in their transition to liberal democracies and market economies, and thanked Taiwan for its donation of 100,000 masks to Lithuania at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the report said.

On issues relating to China, Armonaitė said it's important not to ignore what's happening in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and other places, according to the report.

"Some of the news that reaches us doesn't go in line with human rights approaches,” the report quoted her as saying.

"This is something we can't ignore and that’s why we are trying to build more economic relations with a diverse range of countries and regions," she said.

The proposal to open a trade office in Taiwan was first reported by the Lithuanian media in March.

Lithuanian media reports have said recenly that Lithuanian's parliament is in the process of amending laws that will allow for the establishment of trade missions in countries with which Lithuania has no diplomatic relations.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said Thursday that the ministry welcomes Lithuania's intention to expand cooperation with Taiwan, including its plan to set up a trade office in Taiwan and to make the relevant law amendments to pave the way for that to happen.

She also thanked Lithuania's government for its pledge on June 22 to donate 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan.

(By Lin Yu-li and Emerson Lim)

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