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ECD: business diplomacy can only be advanced through common goals and cooperation

5. September 2019 - 14:35

Stenbock House, 4 September 2019 – Today, the Economic Development Committee of the Government obtained an overview of the implementation of the action plan of the business diplomacy strategy; proposals were also made for extending the network of Estonian foreign representations and economic diplomats. The main idea that echoed throughout the discussion was that diplomatic relations are primarily based on cooperation and common goals.

According to the overview prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the role of Estonian foreign representations is to advance all aspects of Estonian interests in international communication, support businesses in export markets, attract foreign investments to Estonia, and to help and involve the Estonian expat community.

One important point that was presented under implementing the business diplomacy strategy was that the number of Estonian foreign representations has grown, and our representatives are on location with our main allies and partners. However, at several locations we have to either grow our specific capabilities or presence to strengthen bilateral relations, specifically. The overview also indicated that the network of Estonian foreign representations should support entering new and growing markets and the realisation of export interests of businesses to a greater extent.

‘The Estonian diplomatic network of foreign representations meets the goals of our foreign policy in a substantial part. However, it is important to strengthen and expand the network of current representations in the rapidly changing international environment and growing global competition to support the export interests of Estonian businesses,’ said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. ‘We see strengthening our foreign representations, expanding the network of economic diplomats, including cyber and digital diplomats, and offering increased support to Estonian entrepreneurs in export target markets as one opportunity for ensuring sustainable economic growth. We have also committed ourselves to improving the availability of services in foreign states,’ Ratas added.

According to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology, Kert Kingo, wealth can come to Estonia through export and involved foreign investments. ‘Cooperation between different institutions involving foreign markets has improved significantly by today; however, there are still possibilities for the state to provide even better help to businesses in the long run,’ said Kingo.

The Economic Development Committee received an overview of the results of business diplomacy activities and the action plan for 2019 in January of this year.

Read more at: the portal for planning state visits and information sharing 

• The Economic Development Committee of the government, led by the Prime Minister, meets monthly to gain an overview of the economic situation, find solutions to issues that need to be coordinated between different ministries, involve experts and stakeholders, and engage in the development of the economic environment.
• The Economic Development Committee consists of the Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Social Affairs. The Committee is led by the Prime Minister.
• Other ministers participate in the committee meeting when summoned by the Prime Minister, if the topic area covered requires the presence of another minister.
• Work in the committee is supported by the Strategy Unit of the Government Office.

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