On Tuesday, Lithuanian Transport and Communications Minister Marius Skuodis said the country sees “huge potential” for cooperation with Beijing.
"As a European Union member, we see huge potential in the [bloc’s] cooperation with China through the implementation of the EU-Chinese strategic agenda," Skuodis said at the 17+1 summit.
The event that includes China and 17 countries from Central and Eastern Europe took place remotely due to the pandemic. Skuodis represented Lithuania after the country’s president. Gitanas Nausėda, decided against taking part.
In a snub to Beijing, Estonia's president is also skipping the event. Office of the Lithuanian president said no decisions of importance to Lithuania would be made at the meeting.
Read more: Baltics snub China's Eastern Europe summit
According to Skuodis, Lithuania places a lot of importance on bilateral relations with China, with a major focus on transport and logistics.
Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy, rail freight volumes from China via Lithuania jumped almost five times in 2020, with similar volumes expected this year.
Innovative financial technology solutions facilitating international logistics and commerce are also important for the development of bilateral cooperation, the minister said.
"Mutual economic benefit, open and transparent markets, equal business conditions – these are the principles that would allow a swifter [post-pandemic] recovery of our national and regional economies," he added.