Westminster, 2005-02-22 13:53:25
‘Scotland and Estonia have been trading for over 700 years’
Alex Salmond MP, Leader of the Scottish National Party today opened ‘Scotland House’, in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia along with Professor Ene Ergma, the Speaker of the Estonian Parliament.
Scottish business has entirely funded the venture which will provide services to Scottish and Estonian businesses that wish to trade within either of the countries as well as promote Scotland in Estonia. The official opening was attended by senior Scottish and Estonian business people, representatives of the diplomatic community in Tallinn and senior Estonian politicians.
Speaking in Tallinn, Alex Salmond said:
“Both Estonia and Scotland were in the Hanseatic League and our trading relationship from the great ports of Aberdeen, Leith and Dundee, is a well established one of 700 years! I am delighted to be part of this renewal of an old and venerable trading relationship and I am excited by the opportunities this will give to Scots and Estonians in their business dealings with one another."
“The opening of Scotland House here is an exciting initiative and I hope it is followed by many more. Other developments must follow – for example, direct flights from Scotland to Estonia would greatly promote trade and other links between our two countries."
“Scottish businesses and business people have been trading across Northern Europe for centuries and this is a significant development in our progression as a trading nation."
“During my few days here I will also be meeting Mr Sven Mikser MP, Chairman of the Estonia-UK Parliamentary Group and Mr Mart Laar MP Former Prime Minister and I hope this will signify the developing of political and cultural as well as economic links."
“Since independence in 1991 Estonia has shown what a small nation can do when it has responsibility for its own affairs. Scotland can learn a lot from Estonia’s experience and I am learning a great deal on my trip. I hope today’s opening is the start of a new chapter in our shared friendship.”