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The President of the Republic met the Board of Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

President Arnold Rüütel today at a traditional lunch at Kadriorg met with the Board of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The meeting addressed opportunities and problems associated with the membership of the European Union. In the businessmen's opinion, providing that mediation costs connected with foreign trade decreased, the interest in expanding economic relations with countries acceding to the European Union would grow.

Also the issue of regional development was under discussion. The President of the Republic gave examples of what he had seen on his county visits where new industrial enterprises, which used contemporary technologies and local workforce had been created while building on the existing infrastructure. The businessmen opined that in order to develop enterprise in rural regions it was necessary to solve the problems of infrastructure shortages and to create for population decent living conditions in terms of housing, development and educational possibilities and also, say, waste treatment.

The President of the Republic acknowledged the work done by entrepreneurs hitherto saying that entrepreneurship in Estonia was of a high standard and deserved respect. President Rüütel also expressed hope that our accession to the European Union would open new possibilities to improve regional development as well as to ensure sustainability of vocational education.

In the estimation of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the dialogue between different societal groups needed to be intensified in order to prevent that spread of unwarranted prejudices and false information slowed down Estonia's progress. The entrepreneurs thanked President Rüütel for his openness while communicating with entrepreneurs.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, December 16, 2003

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