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The President of the Republic met the Speaker of Canada's House of Commons

President Arnold Rüütel at his today's meeting with Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, talked about possibilities to develop the Estonian-Canadian relationship.

The President of the Republic underscored that Estonia's investment environment could be of interest to Canadian businessmen, notably considering favourable conditions created for foreign capital here, and opportunities to enter Russian market through Estonia. Peter Milliken agreed with Arnold Rüütel indicating that also a big business meeting due early in June in Toronto, which several Estonian businessmen intended to attend as well, would help enliven our economic relations. The Canadian Speaker opined that also tourism had excellent development prospects. Although Estonia as a travel destination was unfamiliar to the Canadians so far, after discovering Estonia's attractions many Canadians could be expected to visit our country. Speaker Milliken suggested that the well-established Estonian community of Canada definitely contributed to the promotion of tourism between our two countries.

The Estonian Head of State expressed delight that Canada had supported Estonia in many respects, amongst other things, offering refuge to many Estonians in the years of occupation. President Rüütel found that the Estonian-Canadian relations had to a large extent advanced thanks to active Estonian exiles integrated into the Canadian society. Speaker Milliken, too, emphasized the significance of Estonian exiles in the development of relations between our two countries.

President Rüütel at the meeting expressed gratitude to Canada for its support to the Estonian Legal Language Centre and for financing Estonian language tuition for Non-Estonians in Estonia. In addition, the President of the Republic voiced his desire that the present visit could form basis of the further development of relations between Canada and Estonia.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 23, 2003

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