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The President of the Republic is in Põlvamaa

President Rüütel visited A & H Ristpalkmajad Plc manufacturing log houses at RäpinaPresident Arnold Rüütel visiting enterprises in South East Estonia today arrived in the County of Põlvamaa. In the morning, the Caretaker County Governor of Põlvamaa, Koit Nook, the Chairman of the Local Government Association of Põlvamaa, Peeter Sibul, and the Mayor of the Town of Põlva, Tarmo Tamm, gave the Head of State an overview of the entrepreneurship in the county. Subsequently, they embarked on a tour of enterprises.

First, they visited the farm of Toomas Tobreluts where the President discussed with the farmer problems and prospects of agricultural production. The farm with the EU SAPARD programme's assistance has made an investment of several million kroons into upgrading grain production.

Thereafter, the Head of State called at Cista Ltd producing cardboard and pasteboard. Talking with the Manager of Cista, Vahur Käärik, about state's possibilities to encourage enterprise in border communities, he agreed that taxation system was the most important instrument. In President’s view, apart from state introducing tax benefits for businessmen operating in remote areas, a certain part of the tax revenue received from them could be directed to municipal budget, which would enhance local government's interest in promoting local business and facilitating creation of new jobs.

In the forenoon, President Rüütel also visited A & H Ristpalkmajad Plc manufacturing log houses at Räpina. The handmade products of the enterprise both remain in Estonia and are exported, primarily to the Nordic Countries. At present, the company is building a guesthouse for the Setu Farm Museum. The project is supported by PHARE.

The Mayor of the Municipality of Räpina, Inge Hirmo, at the meeting with the President pointed to abandoned production buildings and pieces of land overgrowing with brushwood. In the Mayor's view, an increase in land tax stimulated that they be used again.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 26, 2003

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