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The President of the Republic met with a French business delegation

President Arnold Rüütel today met with a French business delegation visiting Estonia, which is headed by Rémy Robinet-Duffo, President of "MEDEF Paris" - an association uniting entrepreneurs of Paris. Also representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris and several businessmen belong to the delegation. French Ambassador Chantal de Ghaisne de Bourmont, as well, attended the meeting.

The President of the Republic at the meeting emphasized that the Estonian-French economic relations, just like our political and cultural relations, had made a rapid progress and the prerequisites for a further deepening of the relations were good. Estonia was interested in cooperation with France in order to both invite French investments and increase our exports to France. President Rüütel noted that entrepreneurship in Estonia, partly due to foreign investments, increasingly gained momentum in regions other than Tallinn, too, where many companies were capable of manufacturing sophisticated, competitive products for export. The President of the Republic spoke highly of the work done by both the French Embassy and Mr Robinet-Duffo for the promotion of our bilateral economic relations.

Rémy Robinet-Duffo highlighted as an excellent example of active interest taken by businessmen of both countries in each other's activities the fact that French businessmen, apart from participating in the present visit, had shown considerable interest also in an economic forum carried out by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris last week in Paris. According to Robinet-Duffo, he had perceived, in addition to good qualifications of Estonian businessmen, their positive attitude and good will, and therefore, the meetings taken place in Estonia already in the next few months should produce concrete results in terms of deepening economic relations between our two countries. And it was obvious that Estonia's forthcoming accession to the European Union was essential in this context.

The businessmen who participated in the meeting and represent a great variety of areas, from insurance to mechanics, expressed satisfaction with contacts established with many Estonian enterprises and acknowledged Estonia’s success in developing its business environment.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, December 1, 2003

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