At his meeting today with members of the Estonian Business Association, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet talked about the Foreign Ministry’s opportunities for supporting the activities of Estonian entrepreneurs. Paet noted that Estonia’s impending accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is good for Estonia’s reputation and will help to introduce its investment climate.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that Estonian economic diplomats actively communicate with businesses and that entrepreneurs have also been more active in adopting the Foreign Ministry as a partner. “The economic crisis significantly impacted Estonia’s export. In 2009 export to all the major export markets declined by a quarter, which forced us to look beyond the European Union and the markets of our close neighbours,” said Paet. “At the Foreign Ministry we try to be flexible and represent the interests of Estonian entrepreneurs in the places where it counts. At the end of April we will open a consulate in Shanghai, in the summer our ambassador will begin working in Cairo, and economic diplomats will be added to our embassies in Kiev and Tokyo,” said the foreign minister, listing the ministry’s upcoming activities.
Paet also introduced to the gathered entrepreneurs the Foreign Ministry’s work in reinforcing business relations. “Estonia supports the concluding of good free trade agreements between the European Union and third countries,” he emphasised. “Currently an EU-South Korea free trade agreement is undergoing approval in the European Parliament and will reach the Riigikogu for ratification in the fall—this will create favourable and stable conditions for EU businesses, including those of Estonia. Opportunities for new agreements are currently being discussed with Japan, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf states,” the Estonian foreign minister told the entrepreneurs.
Foreign Minister Paet also stressed the Foreign Ministry’s close co-operation with business organisations. “In co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry we have organised business seminars, target market seminars, and meetings between entrepreneurs and the diplomats representing Estonia abroad,” said Paet. “In supporting Estonian entrepreneurs, the most important thing is close communication. We recommend for entrepreneurs to communicate with embassies as well as with each other—other entrepreneurs doing business in the same place,” Paet asserted.
Foreign Ministry Strives to Support Entrepreneurs