Taiwan to invest $200 million in Lithuanian high-tech sector

TAIPEI — Taiwan on January 5 announced the impending creation of a US$200 million fund to invest in Lithuania’s high-tech sector, in what Taipei’s envoy to the Baltic state described as a concrete show of solidarity amid increasing Chinese pressure, Focus Taiwan reported.

Speaking during an online press event, Eric Huang, head of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, said the investment fund would be financed by Taiwan’s National Development Council (NDC) and would aim to support strategically important industries, such as the semiconductors, biotech, and lasers, in both countries.

Huang said more details would be announced soon.

Public and private sectors will also continue to help Lithuania export consumer goods facing Chinese sanctions to the Taiwan market instead to offset the economic pressure Beijing has placed on the Baltic state, Huang said, stressing that “Taiwan will continue to stand with Lithuania to show its solidarity with democratic allies.”

Meanwhile, Huang told CNA that the investment fund would be operational “in a few months” and would initially prioritize Lithuania before expanding to other central and eastern European countries.

In the beginning, the goal is to invest in strategically important industries, Huang said.

However, Taiwan’s top envoy to Lithuania added that the fund’s targets could soon be expanded to cover traditional industries in the Baltic state, with more details to be announced once further discussions are held with the Lithuanian government.

Huang’s announcement was made as Lithuania faces increasing 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, which opened last November.

Taiwan typically 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 due to Beijing’s “one-China” principle.

Under the principle, China considers Taiwan to be 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 Taiwan’s office.

Recent punitive measures taken by Beijing have included recalling its ambassador to Lithuania and expelling the Lithuanian ambassador to China, as well as suspending direct freight rail services and banning Lithuanian products from entering the Chinese market.