Taiwan, Lithuania hold talks on sidelines of WTO meeting
Taipei, June 14 (CNA) Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中) and Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Raimundas Karoblis agreed on the need to jointly resist Chinese economic coercion during bilateral talks in Geneva on Monday .
The two men met on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is being held from June 12 to 15.
During the talks, Karoblis thanked the Taiwanese government and people for their support for Lithuania and said he was confident that trade relations between the countries would continue to grow.
Lithuania has a lot to learn from Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, which partly explains why its Deputy Minister of Economy and Innovation, Jovita Neliupšie, is currently leading a visiting delegation there. he declared.
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.
Meanwhile, Deng noted in his remarks that Lithuania and Taiwan had faced retaliatory trade actions from China in violation of WTO regulations.
Lithuania saw its exports illegally blocked by Chinese customs after allowing Taiwan to establish a representative office in the country, Deng said, while Taiwan has been hit by Chinese bans on several types of fruit and, more recently, on grouper imports due to political factors.
In response to these tactics, it is important that the two democratic countries unite to demand that China fulfill its commitments under the WTO trade agreements, he added.
Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發), Taiwan’s permanent representative to the WTO, noted that these types of “under the table” trade barriers are difficult to regulate under current WTO guidelines.
Karoblis, meanwhile, said he believes the WTO needs to adopt new “anti-economic coercion” regulations, both to protect against unilateral measures by authoritarian countries and to safeguard the integrity of the trading system. multilateral.
Ties between Taiwan and Lithuania have warmed in recent years, with Taiwan opening a representative office in the Baltic state last November.
Bilateral trade between the countries increased by 30% in the first quarter of 2022, but remained weak overall at NT$44.87 million ($1.51 million), according to Taiwan Customs data.