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Estonia’s friends from across the world meet in Estonia

3. July 2019 - 11:12

On 5 and 6 July, the eighth Estonia’s Friends International Meeting is held in Estonia, bringing together more than 120 entrepreneurs and cultural figures from 18 countries who have contributed or wish to contribute to the economic and cultural development of Estonia. They will receive an overview of the Estonian insight to the future of the digital area, as well as cultural history.

“Nine years ago today the first Estonia’s friends meeting was held on the initiative of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu. In the course of these years, Estonia’s friends across the world have witnessed rapid developments and great progress in our digital society, e-governance and high-tech entrepreneurship,” one of the organisers of this year’s event, tech entrepreneur Sten Tamkivi said ahead of the meeting.

“To ensure the prosperity and security of Estonia, we need allies, partners and, above all, friends. The aim of the event is to create and maintain great relations on the one hand, and to thank and inspire our friends on the other,” the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rainer Saks explained. “In addition to entrepreneurs, and cultural and political figures, the guests also include several honorary consuls who play an important role in creating our friendships and economic ties in the world,” he added. According to him, the event has the potential to bring together bright people, new ideas and endeavours.

The meeting will open on 5 June at the Vabamu museum with the traditional symposium Quo vadis Estonia?, focusing this year on development in the digital age, and moderated by Sten Tamkivi. “Due to the tensions and emotions of recent years in Estonia, Europe and the wider world, it is particularly useful to bring Estonia’s friends together in one room and discuss ways in which Estonia is doing well and how we could be doing even better. I am happy that in addition to President Kaljulaid and President Ilves, the guests will also include respected Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, such as Ott Kaukver and Kristel Kruustük, to exchange ideas on the future of our little country,” Tamkivi said.

The programme includes a concert by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, meetings with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, attending the XXVII Song Celebration and a visit the Arvo Pärt Centre.

The events are attended by many Estonians active abroad and Estonia’s friends from various walks of life, including Raoul Grünthal, the head of the Swedish branch of Scandinavia’s largest media group Schibsted Media; Pär Nuder, the former Finance Minister of Sweden; Andrew Prozes, major investor and top executive of Estonian origin based in North America; Martin Kolbe, the CIO of the logistics company Kühne + Nagel; Andy Thompson, the CEO of the Proteus Digital Health; and Broadway producer and director Tony Spinosa. Guests also include Estonian entrepreneurs Ott Kaukver (Twilio), Kaidi Ruusalepp (Funderbeam), Kristel Kruustük (Testilio) and Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise), as well as Estonian honorary consuls in Singapore, Trondheim, Zwolle, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.

The first Estonia’s Friends meeting was held in 2010 on the initiative of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Enterprise Estonia, and entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu. This year, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and maestro Neeme Järvi host the event. The meeting is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Estonia, and entrepreneur Sten Tamkivi.

Additional information:

Journalists who wish to conduct interviews before the symposium that begins on 5 July at 10.00 at the Vabamu museum are kindly asked to email no later than Thursday at 16.00. Honorary consuls and representatives of companies are available for interviews.

Additional information:
Kaisa Hanna Parel
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Trainee, Communication Department 
+372 637 7627 / +372 53323045

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