Taiwanese trade delegation to visit Europe

A 65-member Taiwanese delegation will embark on a 100-day European tour today to forge closer ties with Slovakia, the Czech

Taiwan trade lithuania

Photo: AP

A 65-member Taiwanese delegation will embark on a 100-day European tour today to forge closer ties with Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

As a part of its wider national strategy, Taiwan seeks to boost economic ties with Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, building on flourishing relations with the region. News of Taiwan’s diplomatic tour has drawn protest from China, with Beijing withdrawing its ambassador to Lithuania. Despite this response, Taiwanese-European cooperation is strengthening, evidenced by the renaming of Taiwan’s local representative office in Lithuania to “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei” – a departure from standard diplomatic practice.

The tour will likely spur collaboration in key areas of digital economy, biotechnology and R&D innovation as the delegation includes representatives from Taiwan’s technology, machinery and electric vehicle sectors. CEE countries are particularly driven to shift economic ties away from Beijing towards Taipei following waning enthusiasm with Chinese investment, citing lackluster developmental outcomes and fears of economic domination. Indeed, these concerns are amplified with increasing international pressure against China’s activities in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea. Accordingly, expect the visit to enhance reciprocal Taiwan-CEE investments flows, exemplified by Foxconn’s establishment of its European manufacturing base in the Czech Republic.

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