EU backs Lithuania’s plan to aid firms amid China’s embargo

The European Commission on Tuesday approved Lithuania’s plan for a €130 million package to provide access to financing for companies hit by China’s trade restrictions.

The EU’s announcement is the latest sign that Beijing is not withdrawing a de facto embargo against Vilnius after it allowed the setting up last year of a Taiwanese representative office, which Beijing says contravenes the “one China” policy. The stalemate has added to growing list of irritants facing EU-China relations.

“The Commission found that the scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to support companies affected by the exceptional circumstances resulting from the Chinese trade restrictions to reorient their business strategies,” the Commission said in a statement.

The Lithuanian proposal — which will apply to all sectors apart from finance, agriculture, forestry and fisheries — aims to allow affected companies to “adapt their business activities to the new market situation, re-orient their business strategies and improve their liquidity to be able to gradually obtain financing in the market from private financial institutions,” it added.

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