Estonia, Finland eye broader transnational cooperation

TALLINN, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Estonian and Finnish governments on Monday discussed transnational cooperation both in the establishment of physical and digital connections as well as in the field of culture and education.

In a jubilee session to celebrate the 100th anniversary of both countries, the governments also discussed the promotion of sustainable economic growth in the European Union, said a press release - writes

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who met his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila ahead of the session, hailed the intercourse of two neighboring countries over a century and expected future new connections, including the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel, invisible digital data streams, real-life cross-border economy, as well as a deeper cultural cooperation.

"Today, we discussed how to establish these bridges in different dimensions so that Estonia and Finland would become an even more united region and a prominent innovation center in the world," said Ratas.

Physical connections comprise of creating a transport corridor extending from the border of the Arctic Sea to Central Europe, including the goal of establishing Rail Baltic by 2026 and the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel, and the development of the energy market, said the release.

For digital collaboration and cooperation, one of the main issues is broader cross-border data exchange projects, besides the X-road data exchange platform that allows data to be automatically exchanged between countries. Since June 2017, automatic data exchange capability has been established between Estonia and Finland.

It was also declared that the Estonian and Finnish governments would start exchanging data for free.

To strengthen the economic ties between both countries, the governments wish to develop a real-time economic environment, where cross-border economic transactions are reflected digitally, while cross-border cooperation is also sought in genomic research, which is made possible by genome centers established in both countries, it noted.

Moreover, circular economy and the common market were discussed in more detail for promoting sustainable growth in the European Union.

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