President Ilves, who arrived in Ottawa during a state visit to Canada, confirmed at his meetings yesterday with the leaders of the Canadian Parliament Noël A. Kinsella, Andrew Scheer and Peter Van Loan and Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Estonia sees the prompt conclusion of a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union as indispensable. “Even without any agreements, Canada is still one of the important strategic partners for the EU, both politically and economically,” said President Ilves.
A free trade agreement between the United States of America and the EU would be a logical continuation of this agreement, enhancing the economic influence of both North America and the European Union, stated President Ilves at a lunch at the Canadian Parliament, hosted by influential Canadian politician Peter Van Loan.
Co-operation between the states and entrepreneurs of Estonia and Canada in the spheres of information communication technology and cyber security were discussed in length at the meetings between the Estonian head of state and the political leaders of Canada.
President Ilves invited Canada to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. “In the cyber war – the first battles of which have already taken place – there will be no strategically bad or geographically good locations for any country. Everyone will be equally attackable or defenceless, or, vice versa, we can be defendable, if we pool together our efforts as NATO allies,” said President Ilves.
President Ilves, who yesterday flew from Ottawa to Toronto, will today speak about the future vision of the European Union at an influential economic forum, Economic Club of Canada; he will also meet with members of the Estonian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Estonian entrepreneurs in Canada. He will visit the IT-centred Waterloo/Kitchener technological region and the Canadian Centre of Innovation, Communitech, where he will give a public presentation on e-governance and cyber security issues. Representatives of Tallinn University of Technology and Waterloo University will sign a memorandum of co-operation there, and Estonian entrepreneurs will meet with business partners.
Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs