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Finland eyes closer economic ties with Taiwan: Visiting lawmaker

02/07/2023 04:10 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (first right) pays attention to Finnish lawmaker Mikko Karna
President Tsai Ing-wen (first right) pays attention to Finnish lawmaker Mikko Karna's (second right) speech Tuesday at the Presidential Office in Taipei. CNA photo Feb. 7, 2023

Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) Finnish lawmaker Mikko Karna, who is on a five-day visit to Taiwan, told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday that his country hoped to strengthen economic relations with Taiwan.

"Finland is keen on expanding our trade and economic relations with Taiwan," Karna said at a meeting with Tsai at the Presidential Office, noting that the Nordic country is particularly interested in working with Taiwan in the field of semiconductors.

"We also welcome cooperation in the fields of science, technology, research, education, and culture," said Karna, who serves as chairman of a Taiwan friendship group in the Finnish parliament -- a 27-member bipartisan group that seeks to promote closer ties between Finland and Taiwan.

Karna, without elaborating, also condemned "China's aggression towards Taiwan" while underlining that "Taiwan has the right to decide for its own future."

During the meeting, the Finnish lawmaker expressed his support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations.

"This is particularly important in issues related to health, security, and the wellbeing of the people in Taiwan and in the entire region," he added.

Meanwhile, Tsai expressed hope that Taiwan and Finland could "take further steps to deepen exchanges, share experiences, and strengthen democratic resilience."

Faced with the ongoing expansion of authoritarianism, democracies around the world "must work together more closely than ever to safeguard regional prosperity, supply chain security, and the values of freedom and democracy," Tsai added.

Karna and Tom Packalen, who is also a member of the Finnish parliament, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday to discuss issues of interest to both nations with Taiwanese officials, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to meeting with Tsai, the group has met with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), and Deputy Defense Minister Po Horng-huei (柏鴻輝) over the past few days.

(By Teng Pei-ju)


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