TALLINN - At their meeting in New Delhi, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Indian Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan discussed intensifying Estonia and India’s cooperation in the logistics and transport sector. “Estonia could be an important link in the trade route between India and the European Union and Russia,” said Foreign Minister Paet.
Paet stated that Estonian ports offer quality service and are integrated with the railway system. “Estonia is also an appropriate place to set up distribution centers and production units, thanks to the favorable business environment and business policy, well-developed e-services, and the competitive cost and quality of labor,” he added during his discussion with the Indian minister of shipping.
Paet and Vasan also discussed maritime safety and piracy in the Indian Ocean around the Horn of Africa. “Piracy remains one of the greatest security threats on international shipping routes. Estonian entrepreneurs are interested in cooperating to increase security in Indian waters,” stated Paet. Minister Vasan said that piracy is also a serious concern for India and more than 200 Indian seamen have landed in the hands of pirates.
Foreign Minister Paet also met with Corporate Affairs Minister of India Sachin Pilot, with whom he spoke about opportunities for cooperation among Estonian and Indian entrepreneurs, including in the IT realm, as well as developments in India’s economy and India-EU trade cooperation.
Paet gave Pilot an overview of recent economic developments in Estonia and the European Union.
While talking about India-European Union trade relations, Paet noted that a bilateral trade agreement would be a major step forward. “It would be helpful for stimulating the economies of both Europe and India and for promoting bilateral economic relations and investments. We hope that an agreement between the EU and India will be concluded within the first half of this year. It would have a direct effect on Estonia-India trade relations as well,” he added.
Estonia and India would also like to make an agreement in the IT sector. Paet added that Estonia hopes to conclude an agreement for cooperation in the ICT sector with India before the end of this year.
There is a 25-member Estonian business delegation visiting India right now.