Acting Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas jointly inaugurate the Estonian Embassy in Singapore, marking 30 years of strong bilateral relations and fostering opportunities for cultural and business exchanges between the two nations
ACTING Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas came together to jointly inaugurate the opening of the Estonian Embassy in Singapore on 5th June 2023. In his remarks, Acting Prime Minister Wong congratulated the Estonian government on the official opening of the embassy and praised its beautiful design. He highlighted the significance of this event, as it coincided with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Singapore. Wong expressed his satisfaction with the strong bilateral relationship and the collaboration between the two countries in areas such as cyber defense and digital cooperation.
Acting PM Wong emphasized the similarities and shared interests between Singapore and Estonia, despite their geographical distance. Both countries are relatively small economies with a focus on trade and innovation. They are staunch supporters of free trade and a rules-based international order. The acting prime minister also emphasized the importance of human capital and the use of technology to improve the lives of their peoples. These shared perspectives have laid a strong foundation for the bilateral relations, which have grown from strength to strength.
The opening of the Estonian Embassy signifies the deepening of cultural and business ties between the two nations. Acting PM Wong encouraged regular exchanges across all levels, including political leaders, businesses, and people-to-people interactions. He highlighted the collaborations between Singapore’s Institutes of Higher Learning and Estonian educational institutions and expressed optimism for increased exchanges and interactions with the opening of the embassy. The acting prime minister also acknowledged the growing business exchanges between the two countries, particularly in the tech sector, and encouraged Estonian companies to use Singapore as a base to expand into Southeast Asia, while Singaporean enterprises can leverage Estonia as a gateway to the Baltics and wider European region.
He concluded his remarks by emphasizing the importance of such efforts in today’s troubled world. As small countries, both Singapore and Estonia understand the challenges of navigating global forces. They rely on their own ingenuity and adaptability to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity for their countries and people. United in their shared perspectives and circumstances, Acting PM Wong expressed his confidence in the continued success and progress of the bilateral relationship between Singapore and Estonia.
The opening of the Estonian Embassy in Singapore was commemorated as an important and historic milestone. The Estonian Embassy expressed pride in officially opening its doors and celebrated the flourishing diplomatic relations between Estonia and Singapore over the past 30 years. From the appointment of the Estonian Honorary Consul in 2008 to the establishment of Enterprise Estonia’s office in 2016, the partnership between the two countries has grown significantly. With the completion of the Estonian Business Hub (see accompanying box story below) and a dedicated team, exciting prospects lie ahead for continued collaboration, innovation, and cultural exchanges. The embassy emphasized the importance of building bridges and nurturing the friendship between Estonia and Singapore for shared success in the future.
Singapore and Estonia has already implemented a groundbreaking agreement for the avoidance of double taxation, solidifying their economic ties since as far back as December 2007. The agreement clarified the taxing rights of each country on all types of income, aiming to eliminate the burden of double taxation faced by Singapore-based businesses and Singaporeans venturing into Estonia, and vice versa.
|Estonia Opens Second Business Hub in Asia|
The Estonian Business Hub was opened in Singapore on 5th June 2023 and is the second such hub that has been established in Asia after the first one was opened in January in Seoul, Korea. It is situated at 18 Robinson Road in the heart of Singapore’s financial district and aims to develop trade and investment ties between both countries. At the opening ceremony Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that many Estonian companies see Singapore as a gateway to Southeast Asia and she hopes Estonia will also be a gateway for Singapore to Europe and the Nordic Baltic region which has the world’s ninth largest economy. The total GDP of the eight countries there – Denmark, Estonia, Finlandm Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden – amount to about two trillion Euros (SGD 2.9 trillion) with a combined population of 35 million people.