The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) will be on a working visit in China until Thursday. The purpose of the visit is to develop bilateral relations, and to exchange ideas about key issues in global economy and international security.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson believes China has an increasing role in global economy and security. “Keeping in mind the rapid growth of China’s influence, and the long-term foreign policy and trade interests of Estonia, we have to consistently strive for closer bilateral relations,” Mihkelson said.
Mihkelson emphasised that this time the working visit would take place immediately before Estonia’s Presidency of the EU Council. “Therefore the relations between the European Union and China in a wider context, including extending the potential spheres of cooperation, will certainly be a topic of discussion,” Mihkelson said.
In the opinion of the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Head of the Estonian delegation, it is important that the EU and China reached the preconditions for starting free trade negotiations. “At the same time, it is essential that the human rights dialogue between the EU and China continued,” Mihkelson added.
In Beijing, the Foreign Affairs Committee will have mostly political level meetings, but the meetings that are planned to be held in Chongqing will focus on economy and cover topics from microelectronics to rail transport.
“China is unarguably one of the major trade partners in Asia for Estonia,” Mihkelson said. He added that one of the aims of the visit was to give political support to the Estonian entrepreneurs at this market of great export potential.
Estonia exports to China mainly electric and mechanical equipment, timber and wood products. Hopefully, in the nearest future the Chinese market will open more widely also to Estonian food industry.
The Estonian delegation consists of Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, Deputy Chair of the Committee Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, and members of the Committee Marko Šorin and Henn Põlluaas.
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