Ratas, Trudeau pave way for digital cooperation between Estonia, Canada

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday. 28 May, 2018.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday. 28 May, 2018. Source: (Government Office)

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday, where the two leaders discussed increasing digital cooperation — including via a memorandum of understanding concluded between Estonia and Canada that day — trade as well as defense cooperation.

At Monday's meeting, Ratas told Trudeau that Estonia and Canada are like-minded friends when it comes to developing digital societies, according to a government press release. At the same time, the Estonian prime minister expressed hope that the new memorandum of understanding between the two countries would bring the development of artificia intelligence to a new level.

"Both Estonia and Canada are leaders in the development of digital services that make lives easier for people and entrepreneurs," Ratas highlighted. "E-services are Estonia's strength, but Canada is currently conducting strong research in the field of artificial intelligence, which is the most epochal technology,' Ratas explained.

In a joint statement delivered following their meeting, Ratas and Trudeau noted that by joining forces, the standard of living would improve for Estonians and Canadians alike, and research and development would be given a new boost, which in turn will support inclusive growth as well as create new jobs and bridges in society.

Ratas invites Trudeau to Estonia

As a next step in cooperation, Ratas, the first Estonian prime minister to pay an official visit to Canada, invited Trudeau to be the first Canadian prime minister to visit Estonia — possibly as soon as this autumn.

The two heads of government also discussed defence cooperation. "I highly appreciate the contributions Canada has made to the security of the Baltic states and all of NATO," Ratas said. "I hope that Canadian military presence in Europe will continue."

Ratas also assured Trudeau that transatlantic trade with Canada is important as well. "The trade agreement between the European Union and Canada [Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)] will provide a decrease in foreign trade restraints, a clear set of rules, and a sense of security, which make up the basis for good economic relations," he said.

On Monday morning, Ratas met with Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan, Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan, and Speaker of the Senate of Canada George Furey. That afternoon, he also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison, and Governor General of Canada Julie Payette.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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