VILNIUS (TASS): The Lithuanian Trade Mission on the island of Taiwan will start operating in the spring of 2022. The press service of the Lithuanian ministry announced this on Tuesday following a remote meeting between the Minister of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania Aushrine Armon-aite with the head of the National Development Co-uncil of Taiwan Gong Mingxin.
“Lithuanian enterprises are striving to take advantage of the intensification of economic relations between our country and Taiwan and significantly increase exports. This will be facilitated by the opening of a Lithuanian trade office in Taipei this spring,” the statement reads Armonaite’s words.
The decree of the Lithu-anian Cabinet of Ministers on the representation in Taipei entered into force on January 1. As the Deputy Minister of Economy and Innovation Jovita Nelups-iene pointed out, a competition for the position of the head of the representative office will be announced in the near future. Initially, it will have two people – a manager, who is simultaneously a sales representative, and his assistant.
The opening of a representative office of Taiwan in Vilnius took place on November 18, 2021. It provoked a crisis in relations with the PRC. China, opposing the office with this name (Beijing agrees that it, as in other countries, was a representative office of Taipei), recalled its ambassador from Vilnius and offered Lithuania to do the same. On November 21, the PRC government decided to lower diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of a chargé d’affaires, and on November 26 sent a note on the change in the status of the Chinese diplomatic mission in Vilnius from the embassy to the PRC mission.
Beijing also used economic levers: it suspended freight rail transportation to Lithuania, reduced the credit limit for Lithuanian companies operating in the Chinese market, and stopped issuing permits for the export of food products. In early December, the PRC struck Lithuania as a state from the database of its customs system. As a result, Lithuanian exporters could not legally register the goods delivered to the PRC. A week later, Lithuania reappeared in the Chinese customs systems. Beijing also warned international companies about the undesirability of supplying China with products manufactured with the participation of Lithuanian partners.
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