Jüri Ratas in G20 IT and entrepreneurship ministers in Japan

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Aurelia Minev/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) is attending a meeting of G20 digital and entrepreneurship ministers in Tsukuba, Japan on Saturday and Sunday, where the wider use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital solutions will be on the table.

Estonia was invited by the host nation as a special guest, BNS reports. Japan currently holds the G20 presidency, government spokespeople said on Friday.

"Estonia was invited to participate, since this meeting is primarily to focus on the digital economy - an area in which we have excelled in Europe as well as in the rest of the world," Ratas said.

"This invitation is a great honor for us, and Estonia can once again show that we are greater than our borders by shaping global digital policy," he added.

Ratas is penciled-in to attend, despite the meeting being aimed at digital and entrepreneurship ministers rather than prime ministers, following the near-refusal of actual Minister for Foreign Trade and IT, Kert Kingo (EKRE) to travel abroad other than in exceptional cases.

Topics up for discussion include challenges in the digitization of the global economy, such as the free movement of data, human-centric AI, digital security, and the creation of a more flexible approach to digital economy which would enable countries to support innovation at the government level.

A joint declaration from the digital economy and trade minister is to be adopted at the meeting.

The drawing up of the joint declaration was aided by Estonian experts, and the declaration is to affirm that countries must increase their digital governance capacity.

While in Tsukuba, Ratas is also scheduled to meet with Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Masatoshi Ishida and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko to discuss bilateral relations in the digital field and economy.

Siim Sikkut, deputy secretary general for IT and telecommunications at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, is to also attending the meeting.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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