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The President of the Republic continued his tour of Võrumaa

The President he called at the Nopri Farm CreameryPresident Arnold Rüütel today is visiting small and medium-sized enterprises in the County of Võrumaa. In the afternoon, the Head of State familiarized himself with projects carried out with the EU support in the Rural Municipalities of Haanja and Vastseliina.

First, the President visited the Ski Centre of Haanja that with aid from PHARE is being turned into a training centre for young cross-country skiers and a public recreation centre.

Thereafter, he called at the Nopri Farm Creamery where its owner, Tiit Niilo, let him taste dairy products and spoke about expectations of small enterprises operating in the countryside: rural municipality should create the infrastructure needed for production and hire a specialist who by assisting businesses with drawing up projects would help them to get additional funds. In Niilo’s view, a system of fiscal incentives for remote regions also would promote business.

The development of Vastseliina Industrial Village supported by PHARE got started just by building the necessary infrastructure. The Mayor of the Municipality, Kadi Kaur, assured the Head of State that she hoped first contracts with those willing to start business in the industrial village to be signed before the end of the year.

In the evening, a seminar of the county's entrepreneurs opened by Mait Klaassen, County Governor of Võrumaa, took place at the Hotel Kubija. The President of the Republic informed the seminar's participants of what he had seen and heard during his today's visits to the SMEs of Võrumaa, which, in his words, corroborated a close cooperation between the businessmen, the County Government and other local authorities. The President voiced his delight that this cooperation had created new jobs and those concerned were seeking possibilities to scale up their business. As noted by the President, the main problem was scarcity of skilled workers rather than unemployment. According to him, the solution was, in the first place, innovation, not bringing in workforce.

Tomorrow, President Rüütel will visit enterprises in the County of Põlva.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 25, 2003

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