Friends of Estonia discuss next move

  • 2011-07-06
  • From wire reports

WE CAN DO BETTER: President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says Estonia should conduct a form of ‘stress test’ on the country.

TALLINN - On July 1, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opened an international symposium ‘Quo vadis, Estonia?’ in the Riigikogu Conference Center in Tallinn, reports the Office of the President of the Republic. Ilves stated that the next major objective facing Estonia is focusing on strengthening the state and social structures.

“Just as the biggest banks in the world are carrying out the so-called stress tests in economic crises, we will also have to make sure in the future that Estonia could manage itself in any situation,” said the Estonian head of state.

He estimated that the last twenty years in Estonia can be viewed as a long run with constant mid-run spurts on a track where others have put up obstacles with various heights. “We have overcome these obstacles and, in general, managed rather well, particularly in the context of the rest of Eastern Europe,” said Ilves. “However, our social fabric and the capacity of state structures to handle the crisis could be much better, as was convincingly proven by the recent crisis,” he explained.

At the symposium, organized in the framework of the so-called Convention of Friends of Estonia, presentations were to be given by the regional manager of taxation policy of the auditing company Ernst & Young, Stephen Kuhn, and by the senior advisor of new markets and customer relations of the global financial enterprise Credit Suisse, Robert J. Parker.
The traditional meeting of Friends of Estonia that this year included mostly participants from among the international business elite was festively opened on the evening of June 30 in the Nokia Concert Hall, where the participants listened to the Estonian State Symphonic Orchestra under the conductorship of Neeme Jarvi.

The idea to convene Friends of Estonia each year was created last year in the course of an exchange of ideas by President Ilves, businessman Margus Reinsalu and representatives of the foundation Enterprise Estonia. Last year’s success urged the organizers to turn this into an annual event and a decision was made to link this with the Song and Dance Festival.