TALLINN – Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and IT Tiit Riisalo, who met with Japanese Ambassador Yukihiko Matsumura, said that both Estonia and Japan have contributed a lot to the promotion of bilateral economic cooperation in recent years.
The government decided at Thursday's Cabinet meeting that Estonia will not participate in the world exhibition EXPO 2025 in Osaka, Japan, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.
According to Riisalo, Estonia and Japan are constantly contributing to the promotion of economic relations between them and not going to the EXPO will not change that.
"Trade between our countries is in a constant growth trend, Japanese companies invest in Estonia primarily in the information technology and communication sector. We have tried to learn from Japan's technological progress, but at the same time, Japan has shown interest in Estonia's digital state solutions," the minister said.
Riisalo also discussed participation in the EXPO with the ambassador.
"Although Estonia naturally had an interest in participating in the Osaka EXPO, we also have to evaluate its advisability. The costs for the proposed pavilion solution would have been disproportionately high and we have to think about whether we will get the expected visibility and benefit from it, or whether it would be worth investing elsewhere instead," Riisalo said.
The ambassador was understanding about Estonia's decision and expressed hope that Riisalo would visit Japan with a business delegation during his term of office.
According to Riisalo, work is ongoing to strengthen business relations between Estonia and Japan. Only at the end of April, a business delegation from the ICT sector went to Japan through Enterprise Estonia, visiting, among other things, the major corporation Marubeni Corporation, which will also pay a return visit to Estonia in June to meet with local education sector companies. In addition, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is planning a visit by a Japanese business delegation to the Baltic countries this fall.
"I am happy to see that some of Japan's largest conglomerates and venture capital companies have become regular visitors and potential investors in Estonia -- including Mitsui, Marubeni, Mitsubishi. Estonia will continue to cooperate closely with these companies and investors," Riisalo said.