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    《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taiwan, Lithuania should cooperate: Deng and Karoblis

    Minister Without Portfolio John Deng, right, and Lithuanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Raimundas Karoblis shake hands on the sidelines of a WTO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.
Photo courtesy of the Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu via CNA

    Minister Without Portfolio John Deng, right, and Lithuanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Raimundas Karoblis shake hands on the sidelines of a WTO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. Photo courtesy of the Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu via CNA

    2022/06/15 03:00

    / Staff writer, with CNA

    Taiwan and Lithuania need to work together to resist Chinese economic coercion, officials said on the sidelines of a WTO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

    Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), Taiwan’s top trade negotiator, and Lithuanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Raimundas Karoblis said that the two nations have faced retaliatory trade moves by China, while expressing confidence that bilateral trade would continue to grow.

    Karoblis thanked Taiwan’s government and people for their support of Lithuania, and said he was certain that trade ties would remain strong.

    Lithuania has a lot that it can learn from Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, which is part of the reason Lithuanian Vice Minister of the Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliupsiene is leading a delegation there, he said.

    Neliupsiene arrived in Taiwan on Sunday with a group of representatives from the Baltic state’s high-tech sector and is to depart today.

    Taiwan, for its part, could benefit from greater investment in Lithuania’s advanced laser and energy industries, said Karoblis, who served as Lithuania’s defense minister from 2016 to 2020.

    Deng said that Taiwan and Lithuania have faced retaliatory trade moves by China in contravention of WTO regulations.

    Lithuania had its exports illegally blocked by Chinese customs after Vilnius allowed Taiwan to set up a representative office there, while Taiwan has been hit by Chinese import bans on several types of fruit and grouper due to political factors, Deng said.

    In response to these tactics, it is important that the two democratic countries stand together to demand that China meets its commitments under WTO trade agreements, he said.

    Representative to the WTO Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發) said that the global trade groups’ guidelines make such “under the table” trade barriers difficult to regulate.

    Karoblis said that the WTO should enact new rules against economic coercion to protect against unilateral moves by authoritarian countries and to safeguard the integrity of the multilateral trading system.

    Ties between Taiwan and Lithuania have warmed in the past few years, with Taiwan opening the office in the Baltic state in November last year and establishing a US$100 million Central and Eastern Europe Investment Fund in January to promote business ties between the two nations.

    In addition, Taiwan’s Export-Import Bank is to sign a memorandum on cooperation with Invega, a state-backed institution that offers financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises in Lithuania, which would help companies in the Baltic state import goods from Taiwan, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Monday.

    Meanwhile, Lithuania is to open a trade representative office in Taiwan this year, the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy and Innovation said.

    Bilateral trade increased by 30 percent in the first quarter this year to NT$44.87 million (US$1.51 million), data from Taiwanese customs agencies showed.

    新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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