Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE) on Monday signed three Memorandums of Understanding with the ministers of the People's Republic of China aimed at improving bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
The first agreement, the Silk Road Initiative Memorandum, is necessary for practical cooperation, economic growth and the creation of econmic ties between the two counries, according to a Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications press release.
"For Estonia, the agreement means prospects for foreign investments and provides additional opportunities for connecting the Rail Baltic rail link with the East-West transport corridor," Palo said.
The Digital Silk Road Agreement, meanwhile, will strengthen cooperation between the two counries in the IT field. The memorandum outlines various areas for cooperation between Estonia and China, including the development of e-commerce ecosystems, digital services, the exchange of technical information as well as facilitating the connectivity of logistics and trade information.
The E-Commerce Agreement focuses on the promotion of bilateral trade and cooperation and supports trade relations. The aim of the third agreement is to establish a common procedure for electronic commerce, to encourage entrepreneurs to cooperate more in electronic commerce as well as to support the development of electronic commerce cooperation in business relations.
"Economic relations between Estonia and China continue to grow," Palo said. "In addition to traditional fields such as industry and tourism, we can increasingly talk about digital cooperation and online shopping."
The Estonian minister pointed out that Estonia's Omniva has been very successful in promoting a business relationship with China, and is now building a new logistics center to serve growing cargo volumes. "I see no reason why Omniva's success could not be extended to other companies, taking advantage of Estonia's geographical attractiveness, quick management and favorable business environment," she added.
Palo likewise highlighted the growth of tourism in recent years. "In the mid-2000s, around a couple thousand Chinese tourists visited Estonia annually; by now, these numbers have grown tenfold," she highlighted. "And as Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in his speech today, the number of tourists continue to increase."
Editor: Aili Vahtla