During the Estonian-Finnish forum “Together we are unique” held in Helsinki, Finland, prime ministers of both countries called for closer cooperation in the fields of education, research, and development to foster innovation and develop a unified startup region, ERR reports.

The close ties between the two countries manifest both in the cultural and the economical senses. Estonia is the number one tourist destination for Finns, also there are 4700 Finnish companies working in Estonia and 1533 companies from Estonia registered in Suomi.

As of the first half of 2012, Finland remained Estonia’s biggest trade partner and the second largest investor after Sweden.

“In the first six months of 2012, 3.1 billion euros in direct investment had been made in Estonia from Finland, which accounts for 23% of all investments,” said Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

Speaking at the forum, Ansip and the Finnish PM Jyrki Katainen stated their intent to improve joint research and development and foster the internal market.

Both Estonia and Finland have a well-developed entrepreneur community with many successful startups and accelerators like Startup Wise Guys and Startup Sauna.

Image credit: timo_w2s / Flickr.