Belgian royals receive warm welcome in Estonia

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President Ilves presents King Albert an Estonian invention - the latest version of a Skype telephone.

12 June 2008

ESTONIA - King Albert and Queen Paola are undertaking a three day official visit to Estonia. A delegation of Belgian businessmen and scientists are accompanying the Belgian royals.

King Albert and Queen Paola arrived on Tuesday and were first received by the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

The President gave the Belgian royals the latest version of a Skype telephone, an Estonian invention, which will allow them to telephone via the Internet.

King Albert then had a meeting with Prime Minister Andres Ansip and visited the Estonian Parliament. Queen Paola toured the medieval centre of the capital Tallinn.

In the evening the royals attended a state banquet.

Growing ties

Estonia is the smallest of the three Baltic states. The country has a population of 1.3 million. It regained independence after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Economic ties between Belgium and Estonia are relatively modest now, but Belgian exports to Estonia continue to grow.

In 2001 Belgium exported goods worth EUR 78.3 million to Estonia. By 2006 this figure had risen to EUR 174 million.

[ / Expatica]

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