TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Building on a US$200 million (NT$5.54 billion) fund announced last week, Taiwan on Tuesday (Jan. 11) announced an additional US$1 billion credit program to fund joint projects between Lithuanian and Taiwanese firms.
National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) announced at a press conference that Taiwan will establish a fund with US$200 million to invest in the high-tech sector in Central and Eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on Lithuania. In addition, he announced a US$1 billion credit loan fund to foster joint Taiwanese-Lithuanian private sector projects.
In response to criticism from China that Taiwan is engaging in "dollar diplomacy," Kung stressed that this was not the case and that the country is instead establishing mechanisms based on mutually beneficial investments. He pointed out that investment funds are different from foreign aid and are therefore sustainable over the long term.
Earlier that day, Kung held an online meeting with Lithuanian Minister for Economy and Innovation Ausrine Armonaite. Kung said that during the meeting, Armonaite emphasized that preparations for the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania will continue and that it is expected to be operational in the spring.
Kung invited Armonaite to come to Taiwan, but the latter said that due to the pandemic and a booked schedule, she will not be able to in the near future. However, she kept the door open for an eventual visit.
Following the online meeting with Kung, Armonaite told reporters that the announcement of the funds "is very good news. I think Lithuania can be assessed as a potential investment site for the semiconductor industry." During the press conference, Kung stated that the development of the semiconductor industry in Lithuania will be promoted through three forms of cooperation: training of personnel, scientific research, and industry and commerce.