Ratas departs for Toronto, Ottawa

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre)
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on Thursday is departing for a four-day trip to Canada, where he will meet with entrepreneurs and representatives of the Estonian community in Toronto, give a lecture at the University of Toronto, and meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other ministers in Ottawa.

The prime minister will be accompanied by a 20-member business delegation consisting primarily of representatives of technology and tourism companies, according to a government press release.

In Toronto, Ratas will introduce the Estonian economic environment and cooperation opportunities to Canadian entrepreneurs and investors. The prime minister will also explain how Estonian state has built a digital society together with the private sector and introduce plans for developing next generation e-services and implementing artificial intelligence.

On Friday, Ratas will attend an Estonian business seminar in Toronto and participate in the Economic Club of Canada discussion "Baltic Tiger in the Digital Jungle: Estonian Lessons in Building a Digital Nation." He will also give a lecture titled "Acting Digital – New Technologies and Statehood: The Estonian Case" at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, followed by a discussion moderated by Professor Andres Kasekamp.

On Saturday, the prime minister will be acquainted with the heritage of Estonian architects in Toronto and visit the Estonian House, which houses the Honorary Consulate General of Estonia, an Estonian bank as well as an Estonian school and kindergarten. Ratas will also meet with Estonian business leaders abroad and representative organisations of Estonians.

That night, a concert by Maarja Nuut and vocal enseble Vox Clamantis will take place at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Koerner Hall in the framework of Estonian Music Week, one of the largest events in North America to celebrate the centennial of the Republic of Estonia.

According to the 2016 census, approximately 20,000-25,000 Estonians live in Canada, 7,800 of whom live in Toronto. "The Estonian community in Canada is connected by longstanding traditions and an active social life, which has left a clear Estonian mark on the history of Canada," Ratas said. "At the same time, they have passed on Estonian culture through generations with pride, and wish to contribute more to society in Estonia in the future. I am happy and proud to celebrate the Estonian centennial in Toronto with one of the largest communities of Estonians abroad."

On Monday, 28 May, Ratas will travel to the Canadian capital of Ottawa, where he is scheduled to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland. Ratas and Trudeau are to discuss ways to stimulate Estonian-Canadian economic relations, particularly the cooperation of the two leading digital nations, as well as transatlantic relations, cooperation in NATO as well as support for Ukraine.

That evening, the Estonian prime minister will travel on to Iceland, where he is scheduled to meet with Icelandic President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson and Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir as well as celebrate the Estonian centennial with local Estonians and friends of Estonia.

Ratas is scheduled to return to Estonia on the evening of Wednesday, 30 May.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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