Prime Minister Ansip meets with Danish prime minister and representatives of large companies

08.12.2010 | 14:18

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Copenhagen, 8 December 2010

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with representatives of large companies in Denmark to discuss issues of the single digital market of the European Union. The prime minister also met with his Danish colleague, Lars Løkke Rasmussen. The main topic at this meeting was the economic situation in Estonia and Denmark.

“I believe that the most important lesson we learned from the recession was that all countries, especially small ones, should accumulate reserves during the good times to avoid the need for taking out expensive loans in times of economic crisis,” said the Estonian prime minister. The prime ministers exchanged their experiences of coping during the recession. According to Ansip, the economy of Estonia is on the rise, but not yet fully recovered from the crisis because of the unrelentingly high level of unemployment. Nonetheless, according to initial data, the Estonian economy grew by 4.7% in the third quarter this year. The Ministry of Finance predicts that the economic growth in Estonia for the year overall will be 2%. The Danish finance ministry expects Denmark to have economic growth of 1.5% in 2010.

At the meeting with Danish entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister Ansip outlined Estonia’s conservative budget policy, which has proved a considerable boon in recession conditions because it enabled the country to cope without taking out a loan to cover expenses, and government sector reserves remain. Ansip also spoke about Estonia’s imminent entry to the Eurozone, which will simplify trade in goods and make the country more attractive to foreign investors.

The head of government also introduced to the Danish entrepreneurs several e-services that are popular in Estonia and raised these questions: “Why can’t tourists in Estonia pay for parking on their mobile phones like people in Estonia do? Why, for example, can’t Finns start a company in Estonia online in just fifteen minutes, like we can?” Ansip reiterated that Estonia still considers it important to create a single digital market, and for this purpose common and universal standards must be developed. In the opinion of the Estonian head of government, the Baltic Sea countries could become a testing ground for such a market. The meeting was organised by the Baltic Development Forum and was attended by top-level representatives of the Nordea and Danske banks, Carlsberg, the Danish office of IBM and KM Telecom.

The prime ministers also discussed the single digital market. The Danish prime minister promised to set development of the market as one of his goals for the Danish presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2012. “Currently there are 27 different digital market regulations in the European Union, basically raising barriers between countries,” said Prime Minister Ansip, who is convinced that the situation must change for the better. At the session of the European Council in July it was decided to establish a single digital market by 2015, with the initiative coming from both Estonia and Denmark.

The Estonian prime minister thanked Denmark for its support. “Your help in the period when Estonia was regaining its independence was immense, and we are very grateful to you,” he said. The Kingdom of Denmark was the second country, after Iceland, to restore diplomatic relations with the newly proclaimed Republic of Estonia in August 1991. Denmark was also the first Nordic country to enter into a visa waiver treaty with Estonia, in 1993. For several years Denmark repeatedly expressed its strong support for Estonia’s entry to the European Union and NATO at the international level. Denmark’s energetic support for EU expansion is also reflected in the fact that Denmark was the first country to ratify the treaty of accession of Estonia to the European Union.

Liina Kersna (+372 53 00 46 74) from the Government Communications Office is accompanying the prime minister.

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