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Estonia to Open Embassies in OECD Headquarters and Kazakhstan and Consular Representation in Australia

07.10.2010

No. 304-E
7 October 2010

Today, 7 October, the government approved the decision to establish a permanent representation of the Republic of Estonia at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris and an embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Foreign Ministry is also preparing to open an Estonian honorary consulate in Sydney, Australia.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that opening representations helps to protect Estonia’s interests more broadly when it comes to foreign policy, the economic sector, and aiding citizens.

Paet emphasised that Estonia will become a full member of the OECD at the end of 2010. “The goal of the OECD is to support the expansion of general world economic development and world trade, and actively participating in the work of the OECD will help to establish Estonia’s trustworthiness and attractiveness as a destination for investments,” stated Paet. “Establishing a permanent representation at OECD headquarters in Paris creates favourable conditions for Estonia to actively participate in the organisation’s work as a full member, share its experiences and opinions in discussions, and better understand the global processes and trends,” said the Estonian foreign minister.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Kazakhstan is an important co-operation partner in Central Asia for both Estonia and the European Union. “Kazakhstan is one of Estonia’s most important partners in Central Asia, with whom we are prepared to exchange reform experiences and establish co-operation in the areas of, for example, energy, transportation, implementing IT solutions in the public sector, and carrying out economic reforms. The interest of Estonian entrepreneurs towards Kazakhstan is also constantly growing,” stated the foreign minister.

Paet said that opening a consulate in Australia is necessary first and foremost because of the large community of Estonian citizens living there. “Historically there have always been a lot of Estonian in Australia, and their numbers have grown significantly in the past few years, reaching about 10 000. This means there is a clear need to help our citizens on-site in Australia, and therefore Estonia’s presence in Australia will initially offer consular services,” he added. Since 2005 the Foreign Ministry has sent eight consular missions to Australia, during the course of which 1 686 consular procedures have been done, 1 080 of these being accepting applications for Estonian passports.

Until now Estonia has been represented in Australia by a non-residing ambassador who lives in Tokyo and three honorary consuls in Sydney, Perth and Tasmania. Estonia has also previously been represented in Kazakhstan by a non-residing ambassador. Since 2007 the Estonian ambassador to Kazakhstan has been Marina Kaljurand, who resides in Tallinn.

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