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The President of the Republic congratulated the most successful entrepreneurs of Estonia

President Arnold Rüütel this evening attended the closing ceremony of the competition for Enterprise Award at the Concert Hall Estonia. The Head of State being the patron of the competition congratulated the most successful entrepreneurs having won main awards.

The President in his welcoming address expressed profound respect for those Estonian entrepreneurs who in the volatile business environment of the last years had managed to survive, develop further and, by that, had helped Estonia, too, make progress. The Head of State said: "I am pleased to see that many enterprises competing for the award are operating in places quite far from the capital city. For example, this week I could see with my own eyes what great strides South East Estonian firms have made."

At the same time, the President noted that business activity further away from the capital was still relatively low. According to an international study, in 2000, 57 % of Estonian enterprises were operating in Tallinn. In the rest of Central and East European countries, however, on the average only 18 % of enterprises were located in capital cities. "This comparison points to omissions in Estonia' regional policy and to the need to redirect our efforts to the promotion of enterprise outside the capital as well. The question how to streamline cooperation between local governments and businessmen still needs to be answered," President Rüütel said.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 29, 2003

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