Interview: "Estonia highly interested in developing multilevel relations with China": FM

15:51, May 21, 2010      

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Estonia is highly interested in developing multilevel relations with China, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said.

Estonia will gain momentum in its economic development by strengthening cooperation with China, the minister told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Paet has just returned from China, where he met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, opened a new consulate in Shanghai and took part in the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo.

Paet noted that the financial crisis has made Estonia realize the importance of boosting ties with China, as most of Estonia's major economic partners, including the EU countries, Russia and the United States, have suffered severely from the financial crisis.

That is why the country still decided to open a new consulate in Shanghai at a time of economic difficulty, he stressed.

Paet offered Tallinn as a transit station between China and Europe. He also said Estonia may be an interesting destination for rapidly growing of Chinese tourists.

Paet thought it was very important for Estonia to participate in the Shanghai World Expo as the fair gives Estonia great opportunity to show itself to China's business communities and numerous layers of the Chinese society.

Estonian businessmen are interested in finding new partners in China, one of the most important new markets in the world, he stressed.

He said the basic idea of the Estonia Pavilion is to show Estonia as the country of innovations. For example, in the field of information technology, Estonia has a lot to offer to China, he said.

Paet described his meeting with his Chinese counterpart as "very warm and opened," during which the two discussed bilateral relations as well as European Union-China cooperation.

Paet welcomed China's growing importance in world politics and said Estonia is interested in seeing global affairs solved in a positive way, with China playing an important role.

Source: Xinhua
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