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Estonia, China forge closer ties at meeting

  • 2013-11-27
  • From wire reports, RIGA

An Estonian embassy will be built in Beijing as part of plans to forge closer ties between Estonia and China, President Andrus Ansip has said. 

Estonian President, Ansip met with the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, in Bucharest on Monday, Nov. 25. Talks over opportunities to develop educational and economic co-operation were discussed at the meeting.

“In this regard, Estonia is also planning to open a new embassy building in Beijing,” Prime Minister Ansip said. Construction work on the building is in the final stages of completion and it is planned to be opened already in the near future." said Mr Ansip.

“There are currently about a hundred Chinese students studying in Estonia, and Estonian universities are interested in students from China to study in English-speaking programs,” Ansip confirmed.

According to him, the signing of an agreement on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications will help to contribute to the progress of co-operation, reports LETA.  Estonian universities have actively introduced international study programs in China to increase the interest of students such as the Confucius Institute at Tallinn University.

Economic relations between Estonia and China were also discussed.

“Economic relations are functioning, but there is plenty of room for improvement,” Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said at the meeting. 

China presently ranks tenth among Estonia’s trade partners. Trade with China has increased in volume and proportion; however, mainly with regard to imports. The Prime Minister said that closer co-operation between the EU and China, as well as changes in the agreement between Estonia and China on the avoidance of double taxation, would certainly contribute to the progress of economic co-operation.

Whilst discussing the economic relations, the Premier of China was also interested in Rail Baltica and other infrastructure projects. According to Andrus Ansip.

It was also noted at the meeting that transnational co-operation in tourism could be stronger. The Premier of China estimates that Estonia has a strong potential in tourism. He also recalled his visit to Tallinn at the meeting and confirmed that he was particularly impressed with Estonia.

The Premier of China invited Prime Minister Andrus Ansip to an official visit to China and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip also invited Li Keqiang to Estonia.