Taiwan to set up US$1 billion loan program linked to Lithuania

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) Taiwan announced on Tuesday that it will soon set up a billion-dollar credit fund to encourage business cooperation between Taiwan and Lithuania and deepen bilateral economic ties, while offsetting pressure growing Chinese economy.

The credit fund is separate from a $200 million fund that Taiwan previously promised to use to prioritize investment in Lithuania before expanding to other central and eastern European countries, Kung Ming -hsin (龔明鑫), head of the National Taiwan Development Council (NDC), said during a virtual press event.

Kung said the loan fund, once launched, will be available for any project that benefits the development of Taiwan-Lithuania relations, including joint ventures.

He said Lithuania will also be the first country Taiwan will work with under its soon-to-be-launched new cooperation program, announced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during her New Year speech, for strengthen the bonds of the nation. with Europa.

Speaking at the same virtual press event, Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite thanked Taiwan for purchasing many Lithuanian export consumer goods rejected by China.

Along with Taiwan’s pledges for the $1 billion loan fund and the $200 million investment fund, Armonaite said the world’s top semiconductor experts from Taiwan will soon meet with their Lithuanian counterparts to research opportunities for joint cooperation.

Armonaite revealed that a planned Lithuanian trade representative office in Taipei will likely open and start operating this spring. The country also plans to open offices in Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries, he said.

ASEAN is short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an economic union made up of 10 Southeast Asian member states.

In response, Kung said Taiwan welcomes the Lithuanian office. The opening of a reciprocal representative office in the respective countries further strengthens bilateral relations on all fronts, he added.

Taiwan opened a representative office in Vilnius in November last year.

Lithuania is facing growing political and economic pressure from Beijing over its decision to allow the use of the word “Taiwanese” in the name of Taiwan’s representative office in the Baltic state.

Taiwan generally uses “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office” or “Taipei Representative Office” as the name for its de facto embassies in most countries, mainly due to the host country’s preference to avoid any semblance of treating Taiwan as a separate country. because of Beijing’s “one China principle”.

Under this principle, China regards Taiwan as an inseparable part of its sovereign territory. As a result, Beijing has sought to impose a cost on Lithuania for its decision to allow the use of “Taiwanese” in the name of the Taiwan office.

Recent punitive measures taken by Beijing include the recall of its ambassador to Lithuania and the expulsion of the Lithuanian ambassador to China, as well as the suspension of direct freight rail services and the banning of Lithuanian products from entering the Chinese market.

(By Joseph Yeh)

End Article/AW

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