TALLINN - The foreign affairs committee of the Riigikogu has decided to make a proposal to the Estonian government to compile a strategy for Asia.
Chairman of the foreign affairs committee Enn Eesmaa said that the committee's decision stemmed from the University of Tartu Asian Center calling for a strategy for Estonia relating to the developments, opportunities and challenges in Asia, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said.
"Estonia's objectives with regard to Asia have been a topic of discussion in the committee for a long time. A report based on foreign affairs committee hearings was compiled in 2012 on Estonia's opportunities and interests in Asia until 2025. The region has since changed a lot, and it is time that new directions and challenges be mapped out," Eesmaa said.
Eesmaa noted that the foreign affairs committee definitely plans to continue discussing the topic during its fall session, when parliamentary hearings are planned to be held on topics relating to Asia.
Deputy chairman of the committee Marko Mihkelson pointed out that Estonia's foreign policy development plan until 2030, which was recently discussed in the parliament, also stipulates that comprehensive strategies need to be compiled for strategically important regions.
"A more concrete action plan on Asia could be one of these strategies. This strategy must definitely be workable in practical terms, set concrete objectives and create a reference system as basis for creating bilateral relations with various states," Mihkelson said.
Representatives of the University of Tartu Asian Center said that Estonia currently lacks a cross-sector long-term strategy for Asia, which could serve as basis for various interest groups while planning their activities. A new strategy for the state and public of Estonia could provide common guidelines while taking into account the need to protect Estonia's security.