Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) travelled to the Kazakhstani capital of Astana on Sunday, where he will attend the opening of the Astana Hub, an IT and start-up accelerator bringing together companies and investors. Ratas is also meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev as well as his Kazakhstani counterpart.
The prime minister is accompanied by a delegation of representatives of 25 Estonian companies, the Government Office wrote in a press release on Sunday. They are interested in cooperation with businesses in Kazakhstan in the fields of transport and logistics, waste treatment, e-services and other industries.
Kazakhstan has the largest economy in Central Asia and is an important strategic partner to the European Union. According to Ratas, Estonian entrepreneurs have expressed 'significant interest' in Kazakhstan's market, and while trading somewhat increased in the past few years, the overall economic relations are still rather modest.
'Our entrepreneurs see cooperation opportunities in all [areas] connected to innovation and e-services as well as engineering, food production and defence,' Ratas was quoted saying in the press release. 'Another purpose of this visit is to improve Estonian and Kazakh cooperation on education and research. Estonia and Kazakhstan's universities welcome curious students and researchers from both countries with open arms,' Ratas added.
The prime minister will participate in the opening of the Astana Hub, introduce the development and possibilities of the Estonian e-state at the Digital Bridge international innovation forum, and present the Best Digital Initiative Award.
Ratas will also meet with Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, chairman of Kazakhstan's Senate, Kassym-Jomart Kemeluly Tokayev, and the Estonia-Kazakhstan Parliamentary Group.
On Tuesday, Ratas will visit 125-year old Petrovka village, which is partially of Estonian origin, where he will unveil a commemorative stone. The prime minister will return to Estonia on the evening of 6 November.
Editor: Dario Cavegn