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Lithuania will create its own production of chips - Taiwan will help it in this.
Technology company Teltonika intends to build a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Lithuania. It is expected that it will be created with the support of Taiwanese colleagues and will use Taiwanese technologies, and will start working as early as 2027. Lithuanian authorities have announced the country's intention to become a major player in the semiconductor market.
Taiwan promised Lithuania to help withstand Chinese economic pressure, which began after Lithuania, contrary to tacitly accepted practice almost all over the world, actually allowed Taiwan to open an embassy in Vilnius in November 2021.
According to Teltonika, the decision to start production in 2027 is part of a plan to partner with Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), a project valued at 14 million euros, including a 10 million grant from the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The possibility of Taiwan's cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe, including Lithuania, in the production of microchips was discussed at the end of 2021.
According to the representatives of the Lithuanian authorities, Taiwan will help Lithuania move forward quickly, match the strongest players in the world and achieve ambitious goals. However, while the amount of funding is unlikely to seriously claim a leading position in the semiconductor industry.
China, in response to Lithuania's actions, officially lowered the level of diplomatic relations, effectively stopped trade with it and put pressure on multinational companies to exclude their supply chains from the European country. In response, the European Union challenged China's actions through the World Trade Organization (WTO), accusing China of discriminatory trade practices against its member.
One way or another, the volume of Lithuanian trade with Taiwan in 2022 increased by a third. In addition to the semiconductor deal, other agreements have also been signed. Solar module maker SoliTek has announced an €8 million loan from Taiwan's Eximbank, while biotech startup Oxipit will receive a €3.5 million investment from Taiwania Capital. Whether such investments will help fight China's boycott of the country will be noticeable in the coming years.