Huge business delegation accompanies president to his state visit to Lithuania
Some 39 Estonian businessmen followed president Toomas Hendrik Ilves on his latest state visit to Lithuania at the end of May.
Led by Toomas Luman, the president of Estonia’s Chamber of Commerce, the business delegation included a wide range of companies, including clothing manufacturer Baltika, ship repairer BLRT Group, travel agency Estravel and other leading sector representatives, for example Swedbank, Olympic Casino, Estonian Energy, Microsoft Baltics and others.
President Ilves said at his speech during the visit that there are 400 Estonian companies in the Lithuanian business register and that Lithuania has been one of the top investment countries for Estonians with 220 million euros of Estonian money invested there.
Lithuania is a very close market for Estonian businesses and vice versa, Ilves said. "Approximately every fifth kwH of electrical energy consumed in Lithuania comes from Estonia. Over half of Estonian cars are moving with fuel produced in Lithuania. In Lithuania, there are thousands of people wearing Baltman suits and eating Alma yogurt. In Estonia, there are tens of thousands of people shopping at Maxima and enjoying Pergale chocolate," he illustrated.
Ilves stressed that even closer economic ties are necessary for success, including building mutual transport and energy links with the rest of the European Union. "By working together, we will avoid becoming a European periphery. For this reason, we must join the Nordic and Baltic States into a successful, competitive and innovative region that is connected to the rest of Europe via modern road, rail and air transport links," Ilves said.
Ivo Suursoo, head of Columbus IT, said that his company’s interest was to find co-operation ties in Lithuania with the message that his company has very good experience in making companies’ information systems euro-compatible. Suursoo said that the state visit is a good springboard for getting good contacts, adding that he made several follow-up appointments with potential clients in Lithuania. Suursoo said that if companies have a possibility to join a state visit, they should definetely use this opportunity, especially if there is interest in the target market.
Source: Tahula, K. (2013) Ilves: eduks vajame Leedu ja Eesti veelgi tihedamat majanduslikku koostööd. Ärileht, 28. mai.