TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation Ausrine Armonaite revealed on Monday (July 5) that the Baltic nation will establish its planned Taiwan trade office by October or November.
Armonaite said in a Deutsche Welle interview that the office not only represents existing close trade relations with Taiwan but also symbolizes a friendship that has been blossoming since the early 1990s. She added that Taiwan had helped Lithuania and its regional neighbors transition from Soviet rule into flourishing democracies.
The minister said that while visiting the EU’s office in Taiwan in 2018, she noticed that Poland had also established a bureau in the country. Thus, Armonaite became convinced Lithuania should do the same since it and Taiwan enjoy a strong friendship and companies on both sides are seeking to establish more partnerships and connections, Deutsche Welle cited her as saying.
Armonaite mentioned that she has been actively setting up representative offices in new markets, and she noted that East Asia and Southeast Asia are important regions for Lithuania to expand economic cooperation in.
"As the minister of economy, I am working hard to find new markets for Lithuanian companies. The companies we will mainly promote include high-tech industries and laser-related industries," she said.
Meanwhile, Konstantinas Andrijauskas, associate professor in Asian studies at Vilnius University, stated that Taiwan is a country that offers numerous economic opportunities and is a perfect partner for Lithuania’s value-based diplomacy, per Deutsche Welle. He said that since the level of economic cooperation between Lithuania and China is relatively low, Beijing would find it hard to coerce Lithuania into doing its bidding with economic threats.
The professor said that the Lithuanian government does not see setting up a Taiwan office as provocative since many other European countries have already done so. However, he predicted that Beijing would still oppose the move.