Members of the Riigikogu’s Economic Affairs Committee want to reopen talks with the government about Estonia’s participation in the World EXPO in Japan. They question whether denying entrepreneurs opportunities is the best way to save money.
The government, after Minister of Economic Affairs Tiit Riisalo’s (Eesti 200) decision, ruled out Estonia’s attendance earlier this summer.
“At today’s meeting of the Riigikogu’s Economic Affairs Committee, we agreed that Andres Sutt (Reform) and I would meet with Riisalo to open the discussion on the Osaka EXPO and to better understand the minister’s arguments about why Estonia should not participate,” said Priit Lomp (SDE), committee chairman, on August 1st. He said many entrepreneurs want to participate in next year’s event.
Lomp said all hope is not lost. It could be possible for Estonia to participate as part of the Baltic pavilion, which would lower participation costs.
“I hope that our meeting with Riisalo will end with participation in the Osaka EXPO, but I also understand the minister because both the prime minister and the finance minister have asked him to make cuts,” said Lomp.
The Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation criticized the decision and appeal to the government. Politicians also complained.
Riisalo told Japanese Ambassador Yukihiko Matsumura on May 9 that Estonia will not participate in the global event. The main reason is money.
“First and foremost, we had to take into account the decision of the new Estonian government to decisively reduce state budget expenditure,” the minister wrote.
World EXPOs are one of the oldest and largest international events in the world, taking place every five years and lasting six months. Estonia will be the only EU country not to participate in the event.