At its meeting on 30 January, the Estonian government approved the plan to open Estonian embassies in the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Singapore.
“Opening an embassy in Seoul is important for bilateral relations with South Korea and the Asian region in general,” the Estonian foreign ministry said in a statement. “One of the main reasons for opening an embassy in Singapore is boosting business ties and supporting the entry of Estonian entrepreneurs to the markets of states that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.”
“The relations between Estonia and South Korea are very good; over the past three years, the bilateral relations with Seoul have become significantly closer and interest in mutual cooperation has grown,” the Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, said.
In addition to economic diplomacy, providing services and consular assistance for Estonian citizens will be another important area for the embassy. “This is facilitated by Singapore’s location at the crossroads of popular travel routes and good connections with other countries of the region,” Reinsalu added.
Looking into opening Korean and Singaporean embassies in Tallinn
The embassy staff will include people posted from Tallinn as well as employees hired locally; the exact staff makeup of the embassies is still under discussion. There are plans to rent suitable premises for embassies and living quarters for posted workers.
“Once the Estonian embassies in Seoul and Singapore have been opened, we can raise the subject of opening the embassies of the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Korea in Tallinn according to reciprocity,” Reinsalu said.
The funds required for opening the embassies will come from instruments allocated by the government for boosting business diplomacy.
Cover: A Seoul skyline. Photo by Sunyu Kim/Unsplash.