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Mihkelson: Dubai Expo participation precondition for new mission in UAE

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson. Source: ERR

The precondition for Estonia establishing a diplomatic and trade representation in the Gulf Region is its participation in the World Expo in Dubai in 2020, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu emphasized at a meeting on Thursday.

"After hearing today's discussion, it can be said that participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is a very important precondition for the success of the Estonian diplomatic and trade mission in the region," said committee chairman Marko Mihkelson according to a Riigikogu press release. "The business culture there is different from ours, and it is a completely new world to many. If Estonia does not participate in the Expo, it may cause problems for the Estonian entrepreneurs who already work in there, as well as to the activities of the Estonian diplomatic and trade mission in the Gulf Region."

According to Mihkelson, the hosts have stated that they will support Estonia's participation in the Expo in every way.

 It was noted at Thursday's meeting that Estonia's exports to the Gulf Region have increased severalfold in recent years, a trend which is expected to continue. In the committee chairman's opinion, it is thus natural that Estonia would establish a representation in a region where the majority of EU member states are already represented.

Mihkelson also believed Estonia should continue dealing with international agreements that allow for the establishment of bilateral relations, aviation contracts and agreements for the avoidance of double taxation necessary for foreign trade.

At Thursday's meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of the Interior, the International Security Service and Enterprise Estonia provided an overview of the development of Estonia's bilateral relations with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Estonian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Quatar and Kuwait Sander Soome likewise participated in the meeting via video conference.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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