A delegation comprising about 65 officials and businesspeople is preparing to visit Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia next month to explore economic and trade opportunities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The plan was first reported by Chinese-language online news outlet Up Media on Wednesday last week, but the ministry had refused to provide details about the trip until yesterday.
Led by National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), the delegation would travel to the three nations on a chartered flight from Oct. 20 to 30, Department of European Affairs Director-General Remus Chen (陳立國) told a news conference at the ministry in Taipei.
Photo: National Development Council
Since Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil led an 89-person delegation to Taiwan last year, the nation has deepened its ties with central and eastern European countries in various areas, Chen said, thanking Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland for their donations of COVID-19 vaccines.
The delegation would comprise government officials and business representatives from sectors such as information and communication technology, precision medicine and electric vehicles, he said.
Some disease prevention specialists would accompany the delegation during the visit, he added.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
The delegation is to explore opportunities for cooperation on smart machinery and smart city infrastructure — pertinent to the three nations’ strength in heavy industries — as well as the digital economy, start-ups and biotechnology, NDC Department of Overall Planning Director-General Connie Chang (張惠娟) said.
A Slovak delegation had planned to visit Taiwan in May, but due to a local COVID-19 outbreak the visit was rescheduled.
During the visit to Slovakia, the delegation would discuss the planned Taiwan trip with their counterparts, Chen said.
Asked about the progress of Lithuania’s plan to open a representative office in Taipei, Chen said the establishment is awaiting Lithuanian government administrative and legal procedures, and that the ministry is awaiting information from Vilnius before it could provide more details.
Preparations for Taiwan’s plan to establish a representative office in Lithuania are running smoothly, he said, adding that the ministry would share more information in due course.
Despite external “coercion,” Taiwan and Lithuania would not falter in their determination to develop their ties, Chen said, without naming China.
Since Lithuania in July decided to host a Taiwanese representative office, Beijing has been pressuring the Baltic nation to drop the plan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as many lawmakers in the European Parliament, have voiced their support for Lithuania’s plan.
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