Speech by Minister Juhan Parts at the 54th Hamburg International Boat Show - Hanseboot28.10.2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured and delighted to be here in Hamburg with you. Estonia is proud to be this year’s partner country for Hanseboot, an invitation that we took on board immediately.
Why it is so important for Estonia to be strongly present in Hamburg?
Hamburg occupies the first place among German logistics regions. Because of good infrastructure, strong industrial base and the logistics sector value, Hamburg is the most dynamic business location in Germany.
Compared with other European logistics hubs, Hamburg has an excellent international position. Hamburg is an important trading partner for Estonian ports, especially for Tallinn.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our presence here in Hamburg is actually very natural given our common history. Cooperation between Estonia and Germany started already in the Middle Ages. Already on 15th of May 1248 the king of Denmark Erik IV granted the Lübeck Rights to Tallinn that bound Tallinn to common legal space with German merchant towns.
This date marks the beginning of a large-scale organised transit of goods through Estonia. At the end of the 13th century, Tallinn joined the Hanseatic League and had an important role in managing the relations of its members with Russian merchants, above all from Novgorod, during the next couple of centuries.
Coming now to the present day, in the past decade, the intensity of collaboration around the Baltic Sea has increased, as demonstrated by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and increasing role of the Baltic Sea Council.
So we are connected by history and by the present day. We have the Baltic Sea connecting us and an increasing number of vessels sailing there. Almost 200 000 thousand recreational crafts are sailing at Baltics every summer and 35-40 % from them are coming from Germany!
Nautical tourism has become increasingly popular among holidaymakers seeking to combine the love of sailing and boating with vacation and holiday activities. Not only does nautical tourism offer an enjoyable way to see the unique parts of the world, it is also a very profitable industry. Many tourists, who enjoy sailing, combine water travel with other activities, which has spawned a lot of businesses in this field. With many nautical enthusiasts living on board of their vessels even in port, nautical tourists create a demand for a variety of goods and services.
Development of yacht tourism depends above all on the number and locations of appropriate guest harbours, the services provided and the availability of relevant information for the tourists.
At the moment all the existing ports in Estonia have been mapped and the initial list of possible new ones has been drawn up. At the same time we are working on the service standards for the small harbours network. Currently operating ports cover most of Estonian coastline and the distance between them is no more than 30 nautical miles.
Estonia, with is numerous high-quality harbours, has always been known as shipbuilding state of small and large vessels. In relation to the number of inhabitants, there are exceptional number of small craft builders in Estonia. About fifty companies build boats either directly or as subcontractors. Twenty of them are presented at Hanseboot.
As a maritime country with plenty of good berths, Estonia has been renowned throughout history as a builder of small and big ships. Long-term experience means that the quality of Estonian recreational craft is high and the product range is diverse, starting from row boats and ending with luxury yachts and service crafts.
Hanseboot is a remarkable trademark among the boat builders and sailors. Estonian companies are participating now already second year with quite a wide range of boats. Again, we are very much honoured to participate this year at Hanseboot as a partner country. I would like to thank the organisers – Hamburg Messe und Congress - for the very fruitful cooperation with the Estonian team in making this exclusive status possible.
There is a saying that yacht builders are the closest to happy dreamers, because they can see their dreams coming alive and sail away.
So let us set the sails of our dreams and sail together here at Hanseboot!
I encourage you all to visit the Estonian stands at Hanseboot!
Thank you very much for your attention!