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Foreign Minister Paet Discussed Estonian Air Plane Purchase with Canadian Minister of International Trade Van Loan

04.11.2010

No. 337-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who is in Canada for an official visit, said in his meeting in Ottawa with Canadian International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan that Estonian Air’s purchase from the Canadian company Bombadier Aerospace is one of the most notable recent transactions in Estonia-Canada economic relations. Van Loan, who has Estonian roots, said it is good that the Estonian national airline will begin using aircraft manufactured in Canada.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed support for the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. “The negotiation process with Canada has progressed smoothly, and hopefully it will be possible to conclude the agreement in 2011. The European Union would like to facilitate trade ties with nations that share values and positions with the Union,” Paet stated. “An EU free trade agreement with Canada would improve the competitiveness situation and also provide new opportunities for Estonian entrepreneurs to expand their activities in Canada,” added the Estonian foreign minister. The European Union is Canada’s second most important trade partner.

The two also addressed Estonia’s accession to the euro zone and co-operation in the OECD.

Paet stated that the Estonia-Canada youth exchange agreement that came into effect on 1 August also provides a good opportunity to develop co-operation between education institutions and businesses in the two countries, as well as boost competitiveness. “The agreement offers young people more opportunities to supplement their academic or vocational education, gain work experience, and become familiar with another nation’s culture and society,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

Thanks to the agreement, young people have the opportunity to work in the host country and receive supplementary education for advancing their careers on the basis of a pre-arranged work contract. Students and university students can complete the pre-determined internship or studies in the host country.

In 2009, Canada was in 19th place in terms of total turnover among Estonia’s trade partners. Last year Estonia imported goods valuing 166 million kroons (10.6 million EUR) from Canada, and import to Canada reached 2 006 million kroons (128.2 million EUR). The large trade surplus is due to the export of mineral fuels that do not meet the European Union standards. In addition to energy sources, Estonia also sells machinery and equipment, animal products, and prepared food and drink products to Canada.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also met with Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons Peter Milliken. The foreign minister visited a session of the House of Commons as well.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry

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