Bishkek, 12 December 2013 – the development of co-operation, including in economy and information technology, between the two countries was discussed at the meeting between Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Zhantoro Satybaldiyev. Prime Minister Ansip also confirmed that Kyrgyzstan is an important partner for Estonia and the European Union, whose developments are supported. According to Prime Minister Ansip, bilateral relations have recently developed, but there are many unused options in the fields of economy and information technology, for example. “Kyrgyzstan is a democratic and parliamentary country, which has good political relations with Estonia and this is also a good basis for economic co-operation,” Ansip said at the meeting. Prime Minister expressed his gladness that the Estonian e-solutions have also drawn interest in Kyrgyzstan and confirmed willingness to co-operate in this matter. “The development of e-governance has been useful for Estonia – it has made governance more effective, transparent, and accessible to the people,” Ansip said. While speaking about the security of the area, Prime Minister Ansip said that Central Asia is a strategically important region for Estonia and the European Union. The Prime Minister said that the Estonian Defence Forces will remain in Afghanistan until the middle of 2014, being ready to support the upcoming presidential elections. The civilian mission will be also continued after 2014 and every effort is made to ensure that the countries bordering Afghanistan do not lose in security in the new situation. Prime Minister Ansip invited his colleague to visit Estonia along with business delegation to further tighten the economic contacts.Prime Minister also praised his colleague’s decision to enable the European Union’s citizens travel visa-free to Kyrgyzstan. The Prime Minister estimates that this provides more opportunities for people to move and gain experience and develop economic relations. This morning, there was a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament, Asylbek Jeenbekov, according to whom Kyrgyzstan wants to implement a new electoral system by 2015, which is as transparent as possible and this requires a functioning electoral register. Prime Minister Ansip confirmed that Estonia is ready to co-operate and said that the Estonian electoral system has ensured fair elections and Estonia is pleased to share its experience in building up the necessary system in Kyrgyzstan. At the meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament, Asylbek Jeenbekov, it was also recognised that inter-parliamentary co-operation could be more active. Estonia-Kyrgyzstan parliamentary group was created in Estonia in 2011; recently, a similar parliamentary group was also established in Kyrgyzstan.Interest was expressed in the economy of both countries, ideas were exchanged and co-operation expectations were expressed at the economic round table, which was attended by the business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister and local businesses. Prime Minister Ansip said in his opening speech at the round table that political relations between the two countries are good and now the economic relations should be also made to function well. Prime Minister presented AS Repo Vabrikud as a positive example for whom Kyrgyzstan has become the third country of destination of exports.It was found at the round table that the volumes of mutual trading have gradually increased, although the volumes are still small and there is room for improvement. Last year, the volume of trade between Estonia and Kyrgyzstan was 16 million euros; this accounted for petroleum oil, wood and wood products, and vehicles. Estonia has imported mainly metal from Kyrgyzstan. To develop bilateral sustainable economy and preserve mutual interest, it would be necessary to find more ways to increase exports from Kyrgyzstan to Estonia. The round table provided a calling to mutually diversify trade articles. Tomorrow, on 13 December, a scheduled meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, takes place. It is scheduled to open the first Estonian Honorary Consulate in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. Estonian Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan will be Viktor Kryltsov.The Prime Minister is accompanied by a business delegation, which according to the proposal of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry includes the Chief Executive of Defendec OÜ Jaanus Tamm, the Chairman of the Board of FEMW OÜ Karl Kivi, the Member of the Board of AS Tallinn Sadam Allan Kiil, the Chairman of the Council of Incaso/Arco Vara/luteCredit Europe Allar Niinepuu, the Head of Sales Department of AS Repo Vabrikud Karin Reinaste-Parve, and the International Relations Coordinator of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Liis Lehesalu. The Prime Minister returns to Estonia on Saturday, 14 December.