Taiwan will soon launch a $ 1 billion loan fund for the implementation of joint business projects with Lithuania, announced the Lithuanian Economy Minister, Auszrine Armonaite. Tightening Lithuanian-Taiwanese economic cooperation is aimed at neutralizing the losses suffered by Lithuanian business due to the conflict between Vilnius and Beijing.
– By working with one of the most advanced economies in the world, we can gain great opportunities for Lithuanian business sectors with high added value, such as the production of biotechnology or innovative products – Auszrine Armonaite pointed out during the Tuesday press conference. She also informed that Lithuania is currently waiting for specifics regarding Taiwanese investments.
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Armonaite on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with the Minister of the National Development Council of Taiwan Ming-Hsin Kungu, who recalled during a joint conference that Taiwan has already signed a cooperation agreement with Lithuania in six areas: training specialists in semiconductor production, semiconductor production development, biotechnology development, satellite industry, research and the financial industry.
The Taiwanese minister also expressed the hope that Lithuania will open a representation in his country this spring.
Under China’s political and economic pressure
Armonaite confirmed Lithuania’s interest in increasing its trade with Taiwan. She announced that soon Lithuanian companies will be able to engage in one of the largest Taiwanese e-commerce companies PC Home and start trading on the Taiwanese market.
Tightening Lithuanian-Taiwanese economic cooperation is aimed at neutralizing the losses suffered by Lithuanian business due to the conflict between Vilnius and Beijing.
Lithuania is now under political and economic pressure from China, which is demanding that its decision from last year be reversed, allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius. Among other things, China has blocked entry of Lithuanian goods into its territory. 40 percent of Lithuanian companies surveyed admit that they have difficulties as a result of the conflict.
Taiwan has previously announced that it will set up a $ 200 million investment fund for Lithuania, earmarked for investment in industry. The Lithuanian government has also announced support.
Conflict with China as a chance for development
Armonaite also said that the conflict with China over the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius is an impulse for Lithuania to become one of the most competitive countries in the region. – This crisis, which we have fallen into because China has decided to remove us from the customs system, must be a chance for us to become the most competitive country, at least in the region, but – I hope – also in the European Union – she said.
The minister indicated that in order to increase its competitiveness, Lithuania should “become an even more tax-friendly country, perhaps consider giving up taxation of profits”. She stressed that now it is necessary to deepen economic ties with Taiwan.
– Taiwan is one of the most advanced economies in the world, therefore Lithuania is preparing to open a trade representative office in Taipei. We hope that their investments will reach Lithuania and our exporters will be able to export to new markets, Armonaite said. – It is important not only to absorb the losses that companies are currently suffering, but also to create new opportunities to direct products to new markets – she added.
The minister informed that the Lithuanian government, among other things, decided to double the number of its trade offices around the world. – We have to emerge from this crisis stronger and more competitive – she said.
A few weeks ago, the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce informed about the problems faced by German investors in Lithuania as a result of the conflict with China. The media reported that China is putting pressure on German company Continental to stop using Lithuanian components.
Main photo source: ENEX