UK Summit strengthens Nordic-Baltic alliances

  • 2011-01-27
  • By Ella Karapetyan

TALLINN -  Prime Minister Andrus Ansip took part in the Nordic-Baltic Summit in London. A two day event, which was hosted by the UK’s Prime Minster David Cameron, saw politicians, policy innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders discuss how best to boost economic growth, enterprise and job creation whilst improving people’s well being.

Cameron said that the nine countries that participated could form “the ‘avant garde,’ delivering jobs and growth” and lead Europe back to prosperity. “Right across the north of Europe, there stretches an alliance of common interests. We get enterprise. We embrace innovation. We understand the potential of green technologies for economic growth. So at a time when much of Europe is in desperate need of fundamental economic reform, it makes sense for us to come together for the benefit of all our economies: an ‘avant garde’ for jobs and growth.”

Ansip said at the summit that even though the economic crisis hit the northern Baltic region strongly, it seems that all countries are recovering. “We have a good opportunity to be the engine behind new growth in the entire European Union. We have proven that innovation, openness and continuous attention to competitiveness will result in success,” said the prime minister.

According to the Estonian prime minister, technological development and innovation, a well-functioning labor market and family policy and green economic growth are of key importance in raising people’s quality of life. “The discussions brought up many interesting ideas and new initiatives that together we can develop further,” said Ansip.
He said that development of the digital market and e-services is one of the most important factors in achieving new economic growth. Cross-border digital opportunities will expand the well-being for both people and companies. “Estonia’s experience in developing e-services was seen by all of the countries as very valuable,” Ansip stated.
“Today’s discussions showed very clearly how much Britain has to learn from other countries in terms of women’s participation in the workforce, levels of female entrepreneurship, family-friendly businesses and levels of childcare, and also levels of well-being among children,” said Cameron.

The British prime minister said before the Summit that the meeting would bring together people and ideas from nine countries that face common challenges. “We are coming together in London to listen and to learn and to capture ideas, the kind of ideas that can make our societies better places for our citizens to live in.”
At the summit, discussions were stimulated through a series of policy presentations delivered by delegates themselves.
On January 19, Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green started things off by hosting the largest trade event ever held for business representatives of all eight Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as the UK, bringing together over 100 senior business figures from sectors ranging from education to energy efficiency.

Green said that “Our prime minister, David Cameron, has emphasized his determination to work more closely with our Nordic and Baltic partners. These deals are a big boost, not only for the companies involved, but for the trade relationships between our countries. The investments are also a sign of confidence in our growing economy and our efforts to keep the UK the easiest place to set up and run a business in Europe.”
The UK’s prime minister also said there were plans for a follow-up conference in Sweden next year. The Nordic-Baltic Summit took place in London on January 19-20.