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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia Interested in Closer Trade Relations With India


No 39-E

At the Estonia-India business forum in New Delhi today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the opening of the Estonian Embassy in New Delhi will help to develop economic relations between Estonia and India.

Estonia offers Indian companies good access to European Union and Russian consumers. “Estonia is located in a strategically advantageous place and is a suitable base for business activity towards the Nordic countries, European Union countries, and Russia,” said Paet.

Paet stated that thanks to its good location and logistical connections, Estonia is a logistics base for many investors. Fifteen percent of the world’s maritime transport takes place in the Baltic Sea region. “From Estonia there are good railway, highway, and shipping transport opportunities to attractive nearby markets,” Paet stated. The foreign minister added that the free movement of EU goods and capital simplifies transport even more.

Paet said that Estonia would like more direct investments from India. “The Estonian business climate is attractive and the taxes are simple and low, plus re-invested profits are not taxed. Business is also made easier by the widespread use of e-solutions,” stated the foreign minister. There are currently 21 companies with Indian participation in Estonia.

Trade between India and the European Union has grown by 15% in the past few years, according to Foreign Minister Paet. “The importance of the trade partnership between India and the EU is illustrated by the fact that European Union investments in India are greater than those in the United States and Japan combined,” Paet stated. Of India’s exports, 20% are sent to the European Union. “The development of trade relations between Estonia and India would also be helped by the successful conclusion of free trade agreement negotiations between India and the EU,” added Foreign Minister Paet.

When talking about IT sector development, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised its importance for both countries. “Estonia is known as the birthplace of Skype and as e-Estonia thanks to our paperless e-government and widespread e-solutions. Estonia’s experiences in using e-solutions have been very positive. During elections we can vote over the internet, we have e-health care and e-school services, mobile parking, and pre-filled electronic income tax return forms, all of which have simplified people’s everyday lives,” said Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, listing examples of e-solutions utilised in Estonia. “Nearly 98% of bank transactions and 90% of income tax returns in Estonia are done over the internet. In Estonia, a new business can be established in just 15 minutes,” he added.

Participating in the Estonia-India business seminar in New Delhi is a 25-member delegation of Estonian entrepreneurs made up of Estonian entrepreneurs from the logistics and IT sectors as well as producers of security and surveillance equipment, wooden houses, polyethylene products, motor and industrial oils, and rawhide and tanned hides.

The Estonian business delegation’s visit is taking place through the co-operation of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Logistics and Transit Association, and Estonian Honorary Consul in New Delhi Anil Vigili. Help in organising the India business forum was provided by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.



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