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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Discussed Visa Waiver for Estonian Citizens With Thai Foreign Minister

26.04.2013

Nr 145-E

At their meeting in Bangkok, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Surapong Tovichakchaikul discussed opportunities to intensify political contacts and economic ties between Estonia and Thailand as well as tourism co-operation, including the topic of implementing a visa waiver for all Estonian citizens.

Paet said that Estonia would like for its citizens to have the opportunity to travel to Thailand without a visa, which would help to develop economic co-operation and tourism relations. “Thailand is a major destination for Estonian tourists, and a visa waiver would increase interest in the country even more,” Paet added. The Thai foreign minister said that he supports Paet’s proposal in principle.

Foreign Minister Paet said that the Thai foreign minister is welcome to visit Estonia and that economic ties would certainly be enlivened by visits by reciprocal business delegations. “We would also like to hold the first political consultations between our foreign ministries this year in Tallinn,” he added.

The agreements concluded between Estonia and Thailand last year for the avoidance of double taxation and for co-operation in culture and education are very important for promoting Estonia and Thailand’s economic and education co-operation. “There is ample room for growth in our economic co-operation. By concluding these agreements, we hoped to create favourable circumstances for business activity in Estonia and Thailand and facilitate contacts between people and student exchanges,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

They also spoke about co-operation in the logistics sector. The European Union and Russia are important trade partners for Thailand. Paet said that Estonia could be a gateway to the Nordic countries, the EU and Russia for Thai businesses, serving as a transport corridor and a logistics and distribution centre. “Estonia’s advantages are its geographical location, favourable business and investment climate, developed transportation connections, an accessible and high-quality workforce, and essentially waste-free ports,” he added.

Foreign ministers Urmas Paet and Surapong Tovichakchaikul agreed that Estonian and Thai businesses could have closer co-operation in the area of tourism. “Estonian tourists have discovered Thailand as a destination for holidays and we hope that Thai tourists’ interest in Estonia will grow. For example, Tallinn is a popular cruise stop on the Baltic Sea,” he added.

Paet also praised Estonia’s honorary consuls in Thailand, who have helped Estonian citizens resolve problems on many occasions. He added that hopefully Thailand will soon appoint an honorary consul in Estonia.

At their meeting they also addressed co-operation with the European Union and in the UN and reciprocally supporting one another’s candidacies. Estonia also supports starting negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union and Thailand.
In the context of human rights and freedoms, the ministers talked about co-operation in the UN Human Rights Council and cyber security and defence.

They also addressed matters related to Myanmar/Burma.

Foreign Minister Paet will also meet with Minister for Tourism and Sports Somsak Pureesrisaki, and Minister for Information technology Anudith Nakornthap while in Bangkok.


Photos: http://tinyurl.com/cd92d4q

 

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