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Estonia and India discussed possibilities for developing bilateral relations and co-operation


On Wednesday, 13 April, political consultations between the Estonian Foreign Ministry and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs took place. The Indian delegation was led by the Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Shashi Uban Tripathy and the Estonian side was led by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Sven Jürgenson.

Mainly, the development of bilateral relations, possibilities for strengthening cultural, scientific and economic co-operation were discussed at the meeting. Regional co-operation and relations with the European Union were also touched upon.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs expressed contentment over the good and developing relations between Estonia and India. She confirmed that in spite of the change of the Indian Government in 2004, the foreign policy priorities have remained the same. “Estonia is a highly valued partner in foreign policy,” Shasi Uban Tripathi said. The Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary on his part expressed satisfaction with the good relations between the two countries confirmed by the consultations taking place for the third time to discuss the state of play and co-operation between the two countries in the future.

The Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary gave thanks to the Indian colleagues for contributing to the good relations in the fields of culture and research, primarily in view of the activities of the Estonian-Indian Cultural Society, which began its work last year. The Society has made regular book donations to the University of Tartu, the Estonian Institute of Humanities and to the National Library. Jürgenson also extended thanks to the Indian Government for the scholarships for Estonians to study in India in the framework of the ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation) programme.

The good state of relations between Estonia and India is also demonstrated by several bilateral agreements. In the course of the consultations, current agreements were reviewed and possible future co-operation agreements were discussed.

Shasi Uban Tripathi expressed hope that intergovernmental co-operation will be strengthened in the nearest future and was pleased with the formation of the Estonian-Indian parliamentary group at the Riigikogu at the end of last year.

The Indian side also touched upon possible co-operation in trade and enhancing co-operation in the field of research and information technology. “Considering the great size of India and the rapidly developing Indian economy there is room for improvement for the Estonian-Indian economic relations, and we would be pleased to see the intensifying of Estonian-Indian business relations,” Undersecretary Jürgenson said. He added that to intensify these relations, Estonia would be happy to host an Indian business delegation. The Indian side agreed to the necessity of exchanging business delegations and promised to act to that end taking as a basis the Co-operation Agreement between the Estonian and Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Speaking on European Union topics, Sven Jürgenson noted that the prospect of EU accession helped to carry out rapid and comprehensive social-economic reforms in Estonian society. This was the goal on which the activities, as well as goals of the entire state administration had been focused on. Jürgenson added that Estonian representatives have been participating fully in EU structures for nearly two years, in the course of which Estonia has been able to actively participate in decision-making concerning the future. The Indian side on its part confirmed that the European Union is their main partner, with whom they have good economic and political relations. In the course of the last EU-India summit meeting in November last year, an Agreement of Strategic Partnership was signed. At the same time, both sides acknowledged that bilateral relations are of no less importance.

India recognised Estonia on 22 September 1921, when Estonia was accepted to the League of Nations. India re-recognised Estonia on 9 September 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on 2 December 1991 in Helsinki. India is represented in Estonia by Ambassador Om Prakash Gupta residing in Helsinki.

More information on relations between Estonia and India

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