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Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip San Jose Visit Promotes Ties Between Silicon Valley and Estonia

Enterprise Estonia Technology Embassy to Open Up New Investment Opportunities to San Jose and Silicon Valley

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 12/01/07 -- San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and members of the San Jose City Council Friday, Nov. 30, warmly welcomed Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip to the Capital of Silicon Valley. Ansip, along with the Honorable Vaino Reinart, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States, spent the afternoon with Mayor Reed, members of the Community and Economic Development City Council Committee and San Jose officials. Discussions focused on key economic development initiatives that have propelled San Jose and Estonia as global leaders in technology and innovation.

"San Jose is honored to host Prime Minister Ansip and his delegation. The evolution of Estonia as one of the most dynamic economies of the European Union is a remarkable success story. We are pleased that Estonia and Estonian entrepreneurs -- through Enterprise Estonia -- have chosen San Jose as their West Coast landing pad to establish strong relationships with other top global technology companies here in the Silicon Valley," said Reed.

Estonia is considered one of the most technologically progressive countries in Europe -- with one of world's most advanced telecommunications infrastructures. As a testament to the country's commitment to innovation, the popular Internet phone application Skype, now a part of eBay, was developed in the Estonian city of Tallinn. In Estonia, web-based services for doing business are provided both by the government and the private sector are widespread, with 98 percent of banking transactions made electronically. More than 80 percent of income tax filings by individual citizens of Estonia were filed electronically in 2006, and 65 percent of the population uses chip-based ID cards.

Later in the afternoon, Prime Minister Ansip ceremonially opened Enterprise Estonia, a new "tech embassy" in Downtown San Jose. Located at the US Market Access Center, an international business incubator sponsored by the City of San Jose's Redevelopment Agency, Enterprise Estonia will facilitate the needs of Estonian businesses and entrepreneurs.

"As a crossroads for global talent, innovation and capital, San Jose is delighted to be aligned with the Estonian entrepreneurial spirit and to have the Enterprise Estonia Technology Embassy in our Downtown. Estonia and San Jose have similar characteristics: a workforce with a progressive technology culture and intellectual vigor that drives innovation. By building strong ties with each other, we will both grow our economies here and throughout the world," Reed said.

Enterprise Estonia Technology Embassy, will also provide financing, counsel, partnership opportunities and training for entrepreneurs and research and development institutions. With offices in Helsinki, London Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hamburg, Kiev, Shanghai and now San Jose, Enterprise Estonia was founded in 2000 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs with the aim of promoting the competitiveness of the Estonian entrepreneurial environment and Estonian businesses and is one of the institutions responsible for the implementation of EU structural funds in Estonia.

About the US Market Access Center

The US Market Access Center (US MAC) is the leading gateway to the United States for international companies. The US MAC, formerly the International Business Incubator, was established in 1995 to attract international firms to San Jose and to help them enter the U.S. market. Located in Downtown San Jose, the US MAC offers home office and business development services, including extensive research and consulting services, to international companies. The US MAC is operated and managed by the San Jose State University Research Foundation in partnership with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.

About the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit, www.sjeconomy.com.

About the City of San Jose

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is ranked the most competitive knowledge economy by the World Competitive Knowledge Index. San Jose, home to Cisco, Adobe, eBay, BEA, Xilinx and Cadence, is the most diversified innovation-based economic community, spanning seven core technology sectors, with 1,500 of the 2,500 largest technology firms in the world located within 30 miles of Downtown San Jose. The City's economic strategy focuses on small companies and start-ups with potential to become global leader and is complemented by the largest comprehensive incubator program in the nation, including the Software Business Cluster, Environmental Business Cluster, US Market Access Center for international business, and San Jose BioCenter. For more information, visit, www.sanjoseca.gov.

Contact
Steven Brewster
(408) 535-8168
San Jose Office of Economic Development
Email Contact

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