Estonia and Australia

The Estonian Embassy in Canberra was opened in February of 2015. The Australian Embassy in Tallinn was opened on 23 April 2018.

Ambassador Andres Unga presented his credentials to Governor-General Quentin Bryce on 28 March 2013. He assumed his duties in Canberra on 1 August 2015. The Australian Ambassador to Estonia is Kerin Ayyalaraju.

The Embassy is also accredited to New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga.

Estonia has nine honorary consuls in Australia: Anu Ethel van Hattem in Perth (consular area: Western Australia), Delaney Michael Skerrett in Brisbane (South Queensland), Peter Thomas Sexton in Hobart (Tasmania) Jaak Oks in Adelaide (South Australia), Lembit Villem Marder in Melbourne (Victoria), Sulev Kalamäe in Sydney (New South Wales), Sally Mlikota in Cairns (North Queensland) and Kevin Stephens in Darwin (Northern Territory).

Visits

To Estonia
April 2018 Minister for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan
October 2017 Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith
April 2017 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
October 2013 President of the Australian Senate John Hogg
April 2002 Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock‘s private visit
May 2000 Minister for Environment Senator Robert Hill‘s private visit

 

To Australia
October 2018 President Kersti Kaljulaid
March 2016 Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand with a business delegation
November 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
April 2009 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
March 2008 A delegation of the Riigikogu and President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma
April 2000 A delegation of the Riigikogu and President of the Riigikogu Toomas Savi

Additional visits to Estonia include a visit by the Ambassador for Women and Girls Sharon Stone on 9 June 2017, and a visit by the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs Tobias Feakin on 28-29 June 2017.

Agreements

  • The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Estonia and the Government of Australia Relating to Working Holiday Visas entered into force on 20 May 2005
  • On 15 September 2015, the Social Security Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and Australia was signed, which entered into force in January 2018

Economic Relations

The economic interest of Estonian entrepreneurs in Australia continued to increase in 2017. The export of Estonian goods to Australia grew by nearly a third in 2015, mostly in products of the wood processing industry. Imports also grew (0.03% of all imports). Australia remains the most important import market in the region for Estonia (32nd export partner in total). Two-thirds of goods comprise products of the wood processing industry. The main export articles in 2015 were wood and wood products (70.8%), machinery and equipment (8.1%) and medical equipment and instrumentation (6.4%).

The main articles of imports in 2015 were gems and precious metals (67.5%), followed by chemical products (19.2%) and machinery and equipment (5.1%).

Estonian – Australian trade in 2010-2017 (in millions of EUR)

Year Export Import
2010 24.3 0.9
2011 24.2 8.0
2012 22.4 2.3
2013 23.1 7.7
2014 25.6 3.1
2015 34.4 6.7
2016 32.6 12.3
2017 42.7 13.4
2018* 66.5 8.9

*January-November 2018

Source: Statistical Office of Estonia

Investments

According to Eesti Pank, as of 31 December 2017, Australian direct investments in Estonia totalled €3.5 million. The main area of investment was real estate.

As of May 2017, 30 businesses with Australian holdings were listed in the Estonian Commercial Register.

As of the same date, Estonian investments in Australia totalled €2.4 million. The main areas of investment were finance and insurance activities, real estate, vocational, scientific and technical activities, and administrative and ancillary activities.

Cultural Relations

Estonian culture has been introduced in Australia by many Estonian artists and musicians, including the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste, Camerata Tallinn, the Ellerhein choir, pianists Tanel Joamets and Toomas Vana, composer Arvo Pärt (an honorary doctor of the University of Sydney), the Endla theatre of Pärnu, the Tallinn University of Technology Men’s Choir, conductor Neeme Järvi with the oratorio Jonah’s Mission, and others.

  • Arvo Volmer was the Music Director of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2013, and its Principal Guest Conductor from 2013 to 2015. In the summer of 2010, the Puccini opera The Girl of the West, produced by him, premiered at the Sydney Opera House; in 2012, he conducted two operas at the venue, Aida by Verdi and Turandot by Puccini
  • Erkki-Sven Tüür performed a concert in Sydney on 19 November 2011
  • On 1-13 November 2012 an exhibition entitled forEST with Estonian jewellery artists Linda al-Assi, Anni Kagovere, Merle Kasonen, and Maarja Niinemägi was displayed at the Gaffa Gallery in Sydney
  • The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir visited Australia in April 2013 and on 7 April performed a concert on the works of Arvo Pärt at the Sydney Opera House
  • In November and December 2013, the library of the Art Gallery NSW hosted the exhibition of Estonian and Australian bookbinders that included works by 11 Estonian bookbinders
  • In 2014, the first Baltic Film Festival was held in Sydney, with screenings of Seenelkäik and Regilaul
  • In July 2014, the 12th World Harp Congress in Sydney included the Una Corda ensemble that also gave a concert at the Estonian House in Sydney
  • From March to May 2015, works by the Estonian bookbinders were exhibited at the Hobart Town Hall in Tasmania; the exhibition In Memories of Motion that ran from March to April 2015 at the Sydney .M Contemporary gallery included works by Estonian artist Jaanika Peenra
  • In 2015, the Estonian film Risttuules (In the Crosswind) was screened at the Baltic Film Festival in Sydney
  • Ivo Linna and Antti Kammiste gave a series of concerts in the Estonian Houses of Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in February 2016; in March, Anne Veski performed at the Estonian House in Sydney
  • In January 2016, the international film festival Flickerfest in Sydney screened the Estonian short film Piano
  • In February 2018, Australia was treated to performances by folk dance groups Tarbatu and Sõprus, the Rõõmusõnum choir and the village chapel of Väägvere that also performed in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on the occasion of Estonia’s centenary celebrations
  • In February and March 2018, the E Studio youth choir toured Australia, performing at sold out venues in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide; they also performed at the formal reception held on the occasion of Estonia’s centenary at the Estonian Embassy in Canberra