Led by Karol Galek, Slovakia’s Minister of Economic Affairs, a 43-member group of 18 senior officials and 25 representatives of private enterprises, researchers, and industry and academic representatives arrived on Dec. 5 for a six-day visit. They were there to attend the First Session of the Taiwanese-Slovak Commission on Economic Cooperation.

During Taiwan’s visit, Galek will preside over the first economic and trade consultation meeting and meet Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.

Galek and Tsai will jointly convene the “First Taiwanese Inter-ministerial Economic Cooperation Consultation Conference.” They will also use the Slovak Investment and Business Forum, B2B ( Business-to-business) meetings, related visits to further expand Taiwan’s economic and trade investment, industrial docking, and supply chain security cooperation.

In this regard, Democratic Progressive Party’s legislator Wang Dingyu said that this is the largest and highest-ranking visiting delegation in 20 years. It is also another wave of friendly-Taiwan actions after Slovakia signed a bilateral mutual legal assistance agreement with Taiwan in August and donated 160,000 vaccines to Taiwan. He said that 2021 should be defined as a critical development year for Taiwan and the EU.

Janis Vucans, chairman of Taiwan Friendship Group in Latvia, said that Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Taiwan share democracy’s values, the rule of law, and human rights. The only difference between these three countries and Taiwan is that they have been fighting to separate themselves from the Soviet Union for many years and have been longing for the right moment. In the fall of 1991, Latvia gained independence “again” and gained internationally recognized national status, but Taiwan didn’t have that chance yet.

He also said that Taiwan still needs to prepare and wait for opportunities. He does not know when the opportunity will come, but he is sure that the opportunities will come eventually.

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