Multilateralism, free trade future of global development: Estonian president

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-21 03:10:29|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- "Multilateralism and free trade have been the guarantee and will be the future of global development," Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Kaljulaid is on her first visit to China. During the two and a half days' stay, she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, and participated in the Summer Davos in north China's coastal city of Tianjin.

"The thing that impresses me most is China's economic development," the president said.

As an active participant of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and a member of the "16+1" cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEEC), Estonia has seen plenty of cooperation outcomes under the Initiative and the CEEC platform with China, Kaljulaid said, adding she has learned that many countries that she visited lately also appreciate the initiative.

She hoped Estonia could reinforce cooperation with China under the Initiative in such areas as e-commerce, logistics, interconnectivity projects, and agriculture, as the Baltic country has rich resources like forestry and dairy.

Benefitting from the good geographical location, Estonia could serve as an excellent gateway for China to enter the European market, she said. "I believe this is an extremely good opportunity for the beneficial cooperation between our two countries because Estonia is tiny but still a footstone in the market."

Applauding China's significant role in global affairs, Kaljulaid said Estonia hopes to closely communicate and coordinate with China in multilateral affairs and jointly safeguard international rules and order.

She also expressed willingness to further people-to-people exchanges with China, highlighting that the two countries have made steady progress in cultural cooperation.

Kaljulaid recalled how Estonian people including herself were moved by a dance gala presented by the Shanghai Opera House in the 2018 Saaremma Opera Festival in Estonia's largest island in July. "It was absolutely wonderful and unique," she said.