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Ratas: Cooperation between Estonia, China has great potential

Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhang Gaoli met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Tallinn. April 13, 2017.
Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhang Gaoli met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Tallinn. April 13, 2017.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhang Gaoli on Tuesday, where the meeting focused primarily on economic ties and opportunities for promoting cooperation in the transport and logistics sectors.

Ratas affirmed at their meeting that China is an important economic partner to Estonia in Asia and expressed particular pleasure over the bilateral relations that have developed dynamically between the two countries in recent years, according to a government press release.

"Economic cooperation between Estonia and China is closer than ever before," said the prime minister. "A number of launched projects have contributed to this, but there are naturally plenty more opportunities for even closer cooperation both bilaterally and within the 16+1 framework for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries."

At the meeting, the two officials discussed practical opportunities for transporting goods along the new Silk Road connecting China and Europe. "A positive example is Estonia and China's joint business Post 11, which offers needed logistic solutions for e-commerce between China and Europe both in our region and beyond," Ratas commented. He stressed that with its favorable geographic location, Nordic work culture, developed logistics opportunities and high-tech potential, Estonia can offer competitive solutions for the transit of Chinese goods.

Discussing joint projects in third countries, Ratas highlighted the cooperation between Eesti Energia and China on the funding of the Jordanian oil shale project. "The backing of the project's $2.1 billion in funding by our Chinese partners is a sign of trust and quality and an outstanding achievement not only in the context of Enefit, Estonia or China but the entire world," he said. "We want to use this cooperation model with Chinese partners both in China and other oil shale-rich countries."

The Estonian prime minister observed that the two countries' cultural cooperation has also become more active in recent times and highlighted the fact that Estonia's first cultural attaché in Beijing recently began work. He noted that good cultural relations in turn help promote interpersonal contacts and open doors to economically mutually beneficial cooperation."

At their meeting, the two officials also discussed EU-China relations and the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. Ratas also provided the Chinese vice-premier with an overview of Estonia's priorities for its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU and stressed the need for good and balanced relations between the EU and the People's Republic of China.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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