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Estonia’s Friends International Meeting: Estonia is open for business

On July 8-9, 2021, the 9th Estonia's Friends International Meeting (EFIM) brought together the entrepreneurs, as well as political and cultural figures whose activities and advice have contributed to Estonia’s economic and cultural development.

The event was inaugurated in 2010 on the initiative of then-president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, an Estonian entrepreneur Margus Reinsalu and Enterprise Estonia. EFIM offers the attendees an overview of the Estonian insight on the future of the digital domain, as well as some of the country’s cultural history. The main focus of this year’s meeting was on the IT sector.

This year the meeting was held as a hybrid event with guests joining in Tallinn as well as online. Estonia’s friends gathered from countries such as Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, South Korea, Japan, Slovakia, Switzerland, Singapore, and Luxembourg, USA, UK and UAE. The live stream was viewed around 280 times.

The first day was opened by the business seminar “Shaping the IT stories of tomorrow” that was organised by the Enterprise Estonia and the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, where the Estonian startups Clanbeat, Guardtime, Salv and Greenergy Data Centers talked about their success stories. The seminar was opened with greetings by the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets who both assured that Estonia was open for business.

The first day ended with a walk in Kadriorg Park and with a guided tour of the Kadriorg Art Museum.


On the morning of July 9, the program continued with the symposium “Quo vadis, Estonia?” with the keynote speakers, president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Markus Villig, one of the founders of Bolt. The panel discussion was also attended by Ott Kaukver, the Chief Technology Officer at and Mari Joller, the founder of Snackable AI. The symposium was moderated by tech guru and event organiser Sten Tamkivi.

The afternoon visit to the official seat of the Government of Estonia, Stenbock House, received a very positive response, where the Prime Minister Kaja Kallas welcomed the guests and also took on the role of a guide and introduced the building’s exciting history. The 9th gathering of the Estonian friends ended with a concert at the Arvo Pärt Center, where the Minister of Culture Anneli Ott greeted the guests.

The overall message of the two-day event was that in order for the positive changes to continue to happen the public and the private sector need to work hand in hand.

The event was organised by Enterprise Estonia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications and Estonian Founders Society.

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