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Australia is Important Partner to Estonia among Like-minded Countries

04.10.2013

Nr 314-E

 

At today’s meeting with the John Hogg, the President of the Australian Senate, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that in the past few years relations between Estonia and Australia have become closer. “The Estonian consulate general, which started its activities in Sydney in 2011, is necessary not only for Estonia’s interaction with Australia but also for the sizable population of Estonians in Australia,” noted Foreign Minister Paet. “In addition to the over 9,000 Estonians living in Australia, it is also an important travel destination outside of Europe for our citizens,” he added.

Speaking about bilateral agreements, Paet said that the memorandum about work visas which came into effect in 2005 has enabled many young Estonians to broaden their worldview and gain valuable work experience. More than 7,000 young Estonians have been to Australia on the basis of the agreement. “We are glad that negotiations about the social security agreement have ended and we hope to conclude the agreement soon,” said Paet. He added that Estonia would also like to enter into an agreement about avoiding double taxation with Australia.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, NATO and EU’s close cooperation with Australia is very important because, in today’s world, it is extremely important for countries which share values to work together. “We hope that a framework agreement between the European Union and Australia will be concluded soon,” he stated. “We value Australia’s contribution to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan, where Australia has been a very serious contributor to a difficult province in South-Afghanistan,” noted Paet. He also invited Australia to participate in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn.

At the meeting, Paet also brought up joint action in the UN. “Together, we have successfully contributed to reforming the UN in the past and we would like to cooperate closely in the future as well,” declared Paet.

The development of economic relations was also discussed at the meeting. “The development of a regional distribution centre in Estonia would enable Australian businesses to increase their presence in Northern Europe and North-western Russia,” said Paet.    
 

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