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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 19.06.2024, 23:17

Estonia concluded investments protection and facilitation agreement with Belarus

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 22.10.2009.Print version
Estonia and Belarus signed on October 21 an accord for protection and facilitation of investments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia reported BC.

Estonian-Belarus business forum.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Paet stated that the Foreign Ministry of Estonia would like to support Estonian entrepreneurs in finding new markets and increase the security of Estonian entrepreneurs, which could be triggered by the signing of the agreement, mentioned above.


"The agreement, concluded between Estonia and Belarus today, for the facilitation and reciprocal protection of investments helps to increase the feeling of security for entrepreneurs," stated the foreign minister. Belarus is one of Estonia's top 20 trade partners.


At the opening of an Estonia-Belarus business forum in Minsk, Foreign Minister Paet said that the interest of Estonian entrepreneurs towards trade with Belarus is rapidly growing. "The base for future investments and the growth of trade is strong. There is great potential on the Belarus market, which is looking for and expecting foreign investors. Estonian entrepreneurs are very interested," asserted Urmas Paet.


Es reported, Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Paet met with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, and representatives of civil society and the opposition, the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia officially informed.


At their meeting, Urmas Paet and Alexander Lukashenko discussed relations between Belarus and the European Union, including Eastern Partnership. Paet stated that the Eastern Partnership Programme is a good way to develop EU-Belarus relations and to continue to get Belarus to open up to co-operation with the European Union.


Paet and Lukashenko also discussed energy security and opportunities to diversify energy channels. Paet stated that Belarus is also critical to the Nord Stream project, as he believes it should run along the mainland.


"The environmental risks are still too great for the line to run under the sea," he added.


Belarus is an important energy transit country for the European Union – 20% of the natural gas, imported from Russia, comes through Belarus.


The Estonia's Foreign Minister also discussed Estonia-Belarus economic relations with the Belarus President. Trade with Belarus has increased significantly over the past few years, and opportunities for finding new markets remain. According to Paet, it would also be positive if Belarus joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO).


At his meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, Foreign Minister Paet discussed matters, related to the EU-Belarus visa facilitation agreement and co-operation in the UN and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Talking about the EU-Belarus visa facilitation agreement, Paet emphasised that it would be an important step for advancing contacts between individuals in both the economic and political sectors.


"In order to continue growing closer to the EU, Belarus must continue making reforms," Paet said.


While speaking upon the bilateral relations, the Estonian and Belarus Foreign Affairs Ministers agreed that strengthening economic ties and cultural relations was of interest to both countries. Paet and Martynov signed an agreement for the facilitation and reciprocal protection of investments between Estonia and Belarus yesterday.


Estonia has supported many projects geared towards developing Belarus civil society. For example, Estonia supports the studies of Belarus students at the Belarus European Humanitarian University in Estonia and Vilnius.

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