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The President of the Republic met with the Prime Minister of Portugal

State visit to the Republic of Portugal 27.11.-01.12.2005. President Arnold Rüütel met with Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of the Republic of PortugalIn the course of his state visit, President Arnold Rüütel today delivered a speech at Estonian-Portuguese business seminar and met with Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal.

At the business seminar held in the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP), the Vice-President of AIP, Henrique Neto who chaired the seminar said that the Portuguese businessmen are interested in the development of economic relations with Estonia and consider it very important. The Estonian Finance Minister, Aivar Sõerd introduced the Estonian business environment.

In his speech at the business seminar, the President of the Republic said that acting within the EU's common economic space facilitates the intensification of economic cooperation with the states that have thus far been in the background, including Portugal. "Estonian export to Portugal has grown over the last years, but the share of mutual trade exchange in total trade volume is nevertheless small," the Estonian Head of State said and added that he sees a lot of possibilities for further development of bilateral economic relations in the field of investment, trade, and tourism.

Also Rein Minka, Vice-President of the Bank of Estonia, Siim Rae, Director of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Anne Samblik, President of the Estonian Association of travel Agents made presentations at the seminar.

President Rüütel today visited the most westernly point in Europe, Cabo da Rocca near Lisbon and toured the historical center of Sintra, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

At the meeting with Prime Minister Jose Socrates topical issues of the European Union, including the issue of financial perspective were discussed. The Head of Portuguese Government spoke about his impressions of yesterday's Barcelona Summit. Ambassador Fernando Manuel Neves and the Estonian State Secretary Heiki Loot signed the Agreement on Protection of Classified information between the Republic of Portugal and the Republic of Estonia.

The Prime Minister of Portugal hosted an official dinner in honour of President Rüütel and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel. In his speech at the dinner, the President of the Republic expressed his conviction that in the years to come Estonia and Portugal will find many areas where they can extend a friendly hand to each other and cooperate in the interests of the entire continent. "Portugal is developing fast and every year millions of tourists visit the country. You can offer them something that is a real attraction for everybody, such as clearly sensed aura of past eras, hospitality, long stretches of beaches opening on to a vast horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. A warm and immediate atmosphere is a value we all wish to experience," the Head of Estonian State said and added that Portuguese tourists are also very much welcomed to visit northerly cool Estonia.

The Head of Estonian State visited also the Oceanarium (Parque das Naēões), which displays many species of fish, sea plants and animals.

Within her special program, Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel today visited the Art Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian) and the Folk Music Institute (Instituto Nacional de Etnomusicologia). Chief of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Tarmo Kõuts visited NATO exercise "Allied Warrior 2005" and met with Chief of the Portuguese Armed Forces, José Mendes Cabeēadas.

Tonight, the President of the Republic will attend a concert of the Tallinn String Quartet and a reception in Cruz Vermelha hosted by the Estonian Ambassador to Portugal, Aino Lepik von Wirén.

On Wednesday, the President of the Republic will visit the city of Porto where he will meet with Mayor of Porto Rui Rio, Porto Commercial Association, and the Honorary Consul of Estonia, Mįrio Nuno dos Santos Ferreira.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, November 29, 2005

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