Estonia is trying to persuade China to use the country as a transit corridor to the rest of the Nordic countries.
The Estonian prime minister, Jüri Ratas, met with Li Keqiang, the premier of the state council of China, in Budapest, Hungary, where he highlighted Estonia’s railway connections and possibilities to function as a regional e-commerce distribution centre.
“I can clearly see a win-win here,” Ratas said. “Transit would grow in Estonia and a new road to the Nordic market would be opened for China.”
According to Ratas, the greatest potential for cooperation lies with the province of Jilin, a developing heavy-industry region in Northeast China. The Jilin region is home to the factories of automobile manufacturers such as Volvo, Volkswagen and BMW.
“The Changchun-Tallinn railway corridor would open a way for Chinese goods to the Nordic markets, as well as northern Germany and the St Petersburg and Moscow regions, where the automotive industry has a larger presence,” Ratas noted.
Estonia’s advantage, according to Ratas, would be the availability of free land for the construction of terminals, digital administration allowing for the seamless organisation of work, a low level of corruption and a highly qualified labour force.
Ratas met Keqiang at the annual 16+1 summit of 11 European Union member states, five Western Balkan countries, and China.