October 19, 1998
Prime Minister Siimann met today with Kumiharu Shigehara, Deputy FirstSecretary of OECD and discussed OECD cooperation with Estonia and the wholeBaltic region. Siimann and Shigehara talked also about the possibilityof Estonia becoming a full member of OECD.
The Prime Minister thanked the OECD high official for the cooperation,especially for accepting the Baltic regional program. "OECD economic analysisand expert evaluation are very important to Estonia," he said.
Siimann and Shigehara discussed the effects of Russia's crisis on globaleconomy, and separately, on the Baltic region. Shigehara said that OECDworks with Russia, also. He said that the organization's specialists oftenvisit Russia. Their objective is to help with the development of Russia'smarket economy, he added.
According to Siimann, the effects Russia's crisis are clearly felt inEstonia, but the effects would have been much greater if most of Estonia'seconomy had not been oriented toward the western countries. Siimann saidthat Russia's crisis is felt mostly in agriculture and the manufacturingindustry. "The government is trying to assist the manufacturers with solutions,"said the Prime Minister.
Tomorrow both Siimann and Shigehara will participate at the trade conventionsponsored by the Estonian Foreign Ministry.
Background information for the press:
OECD analyzes global economy and arranges cooperation. Estonia'swork with OECD reaches back to the beginning of the 1990`s. In 1996, theBaltic states submitted a joint proposal to OECD which called for a specialBaltic regional program and expressed the wish to become OECD members inthe future.
The OECD Council accepted the Baltic regional program in 1998.