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Cablegate: Tallinn's Bfif Fy10 Proposal

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0044/01 0221157
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221156Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0359
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0013
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0040
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN

UNCLAS TALLINN 000044

SIPDIS
DEPT FOR EEB/CBA DENNIS A. WINSTEAD AND EUR/NB
HELSINKI FOR SCO KUCHOVA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV BEXP BTIO ABUD EN
SUBJECT: TALLINN'S BFIF FY10 PROPOSAL

REF: 09 STATE 126674

1. Summary: Embassy Tallinn has two FY10 projects for the Business
Facilitation Incentive Fund to consider. Post will provide cost
estimates for the Baltic Partnership Program septel. In addition,
we request USD 4,000 in BFIF funds for participation in the
International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair. End
Summary.

2. Post requests BFIF funds for the participation of our
Economic/Commercial FSN in the Department of Commerce IBP trade
show International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair
2010 in Atlanta, with a follow-on visit to the Atlanta Invest in
America contact in the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

A) Justification:

Wood processing plants account for 23.6 percent of Estonia's
manufacturing industry, and the furniture industry accounts for
approximately 7 percent of all Estonian exports. Because wood
processing is labor intensive and is spread throughout Estonia,
there is a preexisting labor pool and room for expansion.
Innovative economic development in this area would have a positive
impact on job creation, especially in areas outside of Tallinn
where unemployment is particularly high (in some places exceeding
22 percent). As there is also considerable concern about Estonia's
decreasing competitiveness in manufacturing and a desire by
furniture makers/exporters to move up to higher value-added
products, Post assesses there are promising export possibilities
for U.S. woodworking machinery and the furniture supply industry.
This would be a new "best prospect" sector for Post.

The International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair
2010 (IWF) is one of the world's largest trade shows for the
furniture manufacturing, architectural woodwork, custom and general
woodworking industries. IWF 2010 will take place August 25-28, 2010
in Atlanta, Georgia. After attending the trade show, Tallinn's
Econ/Commercial Assistant Reene Sepp would also visit the "Invest
in America" contact in the Georgia Department of Economic
Development. There is considerable and growing interest in the
Estonian business community to identify new contacts and places
where Estonian enterprises can do business with American companies.
Post would be able to capitalize on this interest -- and maximize
future commercial opportunities for U.S. business -- given the
chance to sit down with the Invest in America representatives and
to better understand the process and the possibilities for Estonian
companies.

If approved, our Econ/Commercial FSN will use this opportunity to
recruit companies to attend IWF. Based on the current economic
downturn and experience of previous IBP recruitment attempts, we do
not expect we will recruit an Estonian group large enough for the
organizer to cover our FSN's airfare and hotel costs. Therefore,
Post is requesting USD 4,000 to cover airfare, ground
transportation, hotel and M&IE for this trip.

B) Expected impact: Post is hoping to get a better understanding of
the U.S. woodworking and furniture manufacturing sector to seize
opportunities -- and expand possibilities -- for Estonian companies
to cooperate with U.S. companies.

C) Planning Milestones:

March 2010: BFIF money is awarded. Post begins recruitment of
Estonian company attendees. Post coordinates hotel and other
logistic details.

August 2010: Economic/Commercial FSN goes to IWF

September 2010: Post meets with industry associations to get and
give feedback on the show, exchange contacts and set a strategy for
future actions.

September 2010: Post sends BFIF close out cable.

D) Estimated Costs: Airfare: USD 2,800, Hotel, Meals and
Incidental Expenses: USD 1,000, Ground Transportation USD 200.
Total Requested: USD 4,000.

E) Point of Contact: Political/Economic Officer Brian Frere, ph:
372-668-8107, fax: 372-668-8259, email:frerebm@state.gov.
Economic/Commercial Assistant Reene Sepp, ph: 372-668-8130, fax:
372-668-8265, email: seppr@state.gov.

3. Post is supporting the State/EEB/CBA initiative to fund the
Baltic Partnership Program in the region in March and is ready to
provide cost estimates as soon as the time and location of the
training have been set.
POLT

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