Lithuanian economic official arrives in Taiwan with tech delegation

06/12/2022 03:37 PM
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Lithuania's Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliupšienė (front, left) is accompanied by Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (right) following her arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Twitter page @MOFA_Taiwan

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Lithuania's Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliupšienė arrived in Taiwan on Sunday with a group of representatives from the Baltic state's high-tech sector to enhance bilateral trade relations.

It is the first public visit made by a Lithuanian official at the vice minister-level or higher since Taiwan opened its representative office in Vilnius on Nov. 18, 2021 as part of an agreement to open reciprocal offices signed in July 2021.

The 10-member delegation arrived at the Taoyuan International Airport around 6:50 a.m. Sunday and was greeted by Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (曾厚仁), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Taiwan's representative to Lithuania Eric Huang (黃鈞耀) also returned to Taiwan with the visiting delegation.

Neliupšienė and other members of the delegation did not make any public statements at the airport.

According to a MOFA press release, the delegation consists of representatives of Lithuanian technology companies who will meet with Taiwanese officials handling trade and investment during their visit, which ends Wednesday.

The delegation will also visit companies in Taiwan's "strategic industries" and discuss possible collaboration on promoting trade and securing supply chains, according to the statement.

The statement did not specify which Taiwanese officials the delegation will meet, nor did it say whether the visit is related to preparations for a Lithuanian trade office in Taiwan, which has yet to be established.

In an interview with CNA in March, Aušrinė Armonaitė, chief of Lithuania's Ministry of Economy and Innovation, said preparations for the proposed trade office were underway.

MOFA confirmed in March that it had received an application from Lithuania to open a representative office in Taiwan, but no updates have been provided since.

Neliupšienė's trip came after she held talks with Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺), Taiwan's deputy economics minister, in Vilnius in May. It was the first vice-ministerial level economic dialogue between the two countries.

The talks covered the semiconductor, laser, and biotech sectors and investment, startups, and the resilience of global supply chains.

As Lithuania's ties with Taiwan have improved, the Baltic state has come under heavy political and economic pressure from Beijing over the naming of Taiwan's office there -- the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.

Taiwan typically names its overseas representative offices "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office" or "Taipei Representative Office," in keeping with the host countries' preference to avoid any references that would imply Taiwan is a separate country from China.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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