Kersti Kaljulaid was on an official visit to Chile on Thursday, meeting with the head of state of the South American country, President Sebastian Pinera, in Santiago. The two discussed intensifying cooperation between authorities and companies in their respective countries, particularly in digital and cyber security areas. Climate change and the UN Security Council were also on the table.
"Relations between Chile and the EU have historically been close, and there is strong cooperation in many areas, ranging from the economy, civil society, to climate issues, and also digital and cybersecurity matters, where Estonia 's experience is highly valued," Kaljulaid said after the meeting with Pinera.
Following the meeting, representatives of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding, which provides a framework for exchanging experience in the field.
"Communication between authorities is important, and creates a common dialogue space, but at least as important are the specific projects, capabilities and opportunities of our entrepreneurs to sell their know-how worldwide. This grows Estonia and the Estonian economy, and many Estonian companies are operating in Chile today," she added.
To that end, on Thursday evening the Estonian president met representatives of two Chilean companies, CMPC Minico and Falabella, which partner with Estonian companies, Timbeter and Cleveron respectively, and the head of state was accompanied by an Estonian business delegation.
On climate change, since Chile is chairing the UN's convention on the matter for this year, and Estonia has set itself the goal of moving towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050, the two leaders has plenty to talk about.
President Kaljulaid stated after the meeting that no country or region can actually afford the position of being too small to contribute to saving the earth.
Chile was a non-permanent member of the UNSC 2013-2014, and in the light of Estonia's recent tenure in the same position, the two leaders agreed on further contact and information exchange on the matter.
The president is also to visit the Chilean criminal police cybercrime and cybersecurity center on Friday, attend the opening of the national institute for cyber security, and she will also visit the Federico Santa María Technical University in Valparaiso, about 120 km northwest of the capital, and the National Congress of Chile (Congreso Nacional de Chile) – the country's legislature.
After the weekend, the president is to visit the Chilean Antarctic Institute (Instituto Antártico Chileno), a public service institution which manages the coutnry's Antarctic terrirory, before heading off to the Antarctic herself for a working visit – an Estonian sailing vessel, the Bellingshausen, recently arrived in Antarctic waters in a voyage marking the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of the ice shelf.
Editor: Andrew Whyte