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Ratas: increased flow of goods from China through Estonia would stimulate transit

27. November 2017 - 20:30

Hungary, Budapest, 27 November 2017 – At today’s meeting with Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas highlighted Estonia’s railway connections and possibilities to function as a regional e-commerce distribution centre.  ‘I can clearly see a win-win here. Transit would grow in Estonia and a new road to the Nordic market would be opened for China,’ said Ratas.

Prime Minister Ratas said the greatest potential for cooperation lies with the province of Jilin, a rapidly developing heavy industry region in Northeast China. The Jilin region is home to the factories of automobile manufacturers such as Volvo, Volkswagen and BMW, with the Daimler factory being located somewhat further away, in the vicinity of Beijing. ‘The Changchun-Tallinn railway corridor would open the way for Chinese goods to Nordic markets, as well as Northern Germany, and the St. Petersburg and Moscow regions, where the automotive industry has a larger presence. In Estonia, the flow of goods along the One Belt and One Road initiative could take place via the Koidula checkpoint and the Port of Muuga,’ explained Ratas.

According to the Prime Minister, Estonia’s advantage when it comes to serving as a node and distribution centre for the carriage of goods is the availability of free land for the construction of terminals, digital administration allowing for the seamless organisation of work, a low level of corruption, and a highly qualified labour force. ‘The first fruits of Estonian-Chinese cooperation can already be seen in the parcel distribution centre Post11, located in the vicinity of Tallinn. The joint Chinese-Estonian company currently holds 10 per cent of the Russian e-commerce market. The first steps towards closer economic cooperation have been taken, and work must now continue, since opportunities remain unused’, emphasised Ratas.

Prime Minister Ratas participated along with Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo in the annual 16+1 summit of 11 European Union Member States, 5 Western Balkan countries, and China, which took place this year in Budapest. A business forum was held at the same time, in which a business delegation from Estonia participated with the goal of strengthening possibilities for business and cooperation with China. Estonia’s business delegation included representatives from the Estonia Pianos, EVR Cargo AS, Pagaripoisid OÜ, Sillamäe Sadam, and Eesti Energia AS. The visit by undertakings was organised by Enterprise Estonia.

During the summit, Ratas met separately with his Hungarian colleague Victor Orbán, Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić, and Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković.

Photos of the meetings:

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