TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse is on a visit to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to cooperation with the UAE and boost the development of business relations between the two states in the fields of agriculture and food production.
As part of his visit, Kruuse met with Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri. Topics discussed at the bilateral meeting included research and innovation and sustainable food production.
"The production of high-quality food starts with carefully selected produce. Fresh air and clean water -- the prerequisites for clean food production -- are the calling card of Estonia. Our businesses use modern technologies to render production and logistics as efficient and sanitary as possible and reduce their environmental impact," Kruuse said.
At the meeting, Kruuse also invited the minister of the UAE to visit Estonia.
"As technology is an important aspect of our future cooperation, we're open to further discussions of breeding, synthetic biology, digitization, bioresources and aquaculture," he noted.
The minister of climate change and environment of the UAE, Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, promised to support Estonia's initiative to declare the year 2025 the International Year of Rye. Both ministers expressed readiness to sign a memorandum of understanding.
Estonia's main exports in international markets are dairy products, cereals, fish and fish products as well as meat and meat products and spirit drinks.
At the ongoing Gulfood food fair in Dubai, Estonia is represented by fish and seafood, mineral water and other drinks, confectionery products, dairy products, baby foods and various snacks, such as potato chips and freeze-dried products. Many products are organic.
The minister of rural affairs is accompanied on his visit taking place from Feb. 15 to 17 by a five-strong business delegation of the Estonian Chamber or Commerce and Industry. The agenda includes several meetings as well as visits to the international Gulfood food fair and the Dubai Expo.