Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) The Lithuanian government on Monday announced that its trade office in Taiwan has officially begun operations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
In a statement, MOFA said Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė made the announcement while attending an event at the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.
The Lithuania official also made the announcement in a tweet, saying that the new trade office is expected to bring "better cooperation between Lithuania and Taiwan."
"Lithuania is taking a huge step toward becoming a high-tech powerhouse in EU, and this partnership will strengthen that," she tweeted.
MOFA said in its statement that Department of European Affairs chief Vincent Yao (姚金祥) visited the office in Taipei early Monday to meet with the office's representative, Paulius Lukauskas, and congratulate him on the office's opening.
According to MOFA, the office is officially titled the "Lithuania Trade Representative Office" and is located in Suite 1207-A on the 12th floor of the Taipei World Trade Center International Trade Building.
Meanwhile, during the same event in Vilnius where Armonaitė announced the office's opening, Taiwan's office also announced the country's first major investment project in Lithuania, MOFA said, but it did not provide any details on the project.
A National Development Fund (NDF) official later told CNA that the NDF will invest 3.5 million euros (US$3.50 million) in Lithuanian tech company Litilit.
Two more investments in Lithuania will be announced later this year, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
Relations between Taiwan and Lithuania have warmed over the past two years, with both sides signing an agreement in July 2021 to open reciprocal representative offices.
Taiwan opened its office in Vilnius on Nov. 18, 2021, with Lithuanian's office originally expected to open in Taipei sometime in September this year.
As Lithuania's ties with Taiwan have improved, however, the Baltic state has come under heavy political and economic pressure from Beijing over the name of Taiwan's office there -- the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.
Taiwan typically names its overseas representative offices "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office" or "Taipei Representative Office," in keeping with the host countries' preference to avoid any references that would imply Taiwan is a separate country from China.
Beijing, which sees Taiwan and mainland China as both being part of the same country, has sought to impose a political cost on Lithuania for its decision to allow the inclusion of "Taiwanese" in the name of Taiwan's office, seeing such moves as encouraging formal independence.