First ever Estonian ambassador to Saudi Arabia presents credentials

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Jaan Reinhold at Wednesday's ceremony in Riyadh, where he presented his credentials to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonia's first ever ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jaan Reinhold, presented his credentials before King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Jaan Reinhold, the new ambassador, said of his appointment that: "Over the past five years, Estonia's exports to Saudi Arabia have grown by approximately half, and given the Saudi government's focus on research-intensive innovation and the introduction of digital solutions, bilateral trade has great potential for development."

"Some of our companies are already active in Saudi Arabia. At the most recent meetings, I have also experienced a significant interest from the Saudis in not only e-solutions developed in Estonia, but also, for example, in the defense industry and food products," Reinhold went on, shortly after a ceremony welcomed him and other incoming ambassadors.

"Based on the above, it is possible to put together a long-term action plan for our companies to enter the Saudi market and the role of the state in contributing to it," Reinhold added.

While diplomatic relations between Estonia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were established in 2003, Jaan Reinhold is the first full ambassador to the kingdom.

Reinhold is also ambassador to Kuwait, to Bahrain, and to the UAE, where he BNS reports.

An Estonian embassy was opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2019, also with the primary aim of developing political and economic relations between Estonia and the Gulf States.

Estonian diplomats have in the past worked out of Finland's embassy in Riyadh.

Jaan Reinhold's resume

A native of Valga, Jaan Reinhold, 50, worked as a journalist for Radio Free Europe, before joining the Estonian foreign service in 2003. From 2006 to 2010, he was the second secretary for EU and Economic Affairs at the Estonian Embassy in Vilnius, going on to serve as director of the external economic and development cooperation department, business diplomacy and analysis division, at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 2011 to 2014, he served as consul general in Shanghai, China, then, until 2017 as Estonian ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

Before his appointment to Abu Dhabi in 2019, Reinhold was the foreign ministry's special diplomatic representative on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the director of the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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