Lux Express adds new departures to international routes, increases capacity
Lux Express added new departures to its Tallinn-Riga, Riga-Vilnius and Riga-Minsk routes, effective today Monday. On its Tallinn-Riga route, the company has also increased the number of available seats by 16 percent.
The changes are connected to growing passenger numbers on Lux Express’ international routes. The increase in the popularity of bus transport as well as the arrival of the new Lux Express Lounge buses on the Tallinn-Riga route had also contributed, the company said.
Two daily departures were added to the Tallinn-Riga route, and changes in other departure times were also made. There are now 13 Lux Express buses leaving Tallinn for Riga every day.
“Bus companies are mainly competing with cars, not each other, and the increase in bus passenger numbers mainly comes from people deciding to leave the car at home and use public transport. We have been able to attract passengers to buses on the Tallinn-Riga route, and the increase in the number of passengers means that there is demand for more departures,” Lux Express’ Kristiina Mehik said on Monday.
According to Mehik, passengers prefer buses over cars because they allow them to better use the time spent travelling, whether for work or to rest. As the number of business travellers was also increasing, Lux Express had increased the number of seats in the buses' lounges by 163 percent, she added.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
May industrial production volume up 13 percent on year
According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday, in May 2017, the production of industrial enterprises increased 13 percent compared to May of last year.
Production increased in the energy sector and mining and quarrying as well as in manufacturing.
This May, manufacturing production was eight percent higher compared to the same month last year. Production growth was broad-based, with production surpassing May 2016 volumes in two-thirds of industry branches. The growth in production was mostly due to an increase in the manufacture of wood, metal and food products and electrical equipment. Production also increased in the manufacture of motor vehicles, machinery and equipment as well as building material. Among the branches of industry with larger shares, production fell only in the manufacture of electronic products.
Last month, 67 percent of the total production of manufacturing was sold to the external market. According to unadjusted data, the sales of manufacturing production for export increased seven percent and sales to the domestic market 15 percent compared to May 2016.
This May, the seasonally adjusted total industrial production remained on the level of the previous month but production in manufacturing fell by two percent.
Compared to May 2016, the production of electricity increased 69 percent and the production of heat 26 percent.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Eesti Energia to begin selling electricity, natural gas in Poland
A permit has been issued by the Polish Energy Regulatory Office to Enefit, a subsidiary of Estonian-state owned energy company Eesti Energia, to trade with electricity and natural gas.
According to an Eesti Energia press release, Enefit will focus in Poland on providing services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger industrial clients.
Launching business activity in Poland is part of Eesti Energia's strategic objective to grow from solely selling electricity in the Baltics to selling energy and providing energy services throughout the entire Baltic Sea region, according to Karla Agan, head of energy sales at Eesti Energia.
"We have been successfully operating in Latvia and Lithuania for more than ten years and secured a leading position in the Baltic energy market," he highlighted. "On the basis of this experience, we believe that we will succeed in Poland as well."
In Poland, Enefit will sell electricity and natural gas that has been purchased from the energy exchange. In addition to the sale of energy, Enefit will also provide consultations and additional energy-related services. "We are contributing toward the creation of long-term partnerships in Poland," Agan said. "We see that there is room on the Polish market for an energy seller who offers products relevant to the needs of clients as well as high-quality personal service."
According to Eesti Energia, the annual volume of the Polish power market is more than 161 terawatt-hours, which is more than six times greater than last year's total Baltic market of 25 terawatt-hours. The annual volume of the Polish gas market is more than 166 terawatt-hours, which is quadruple the size of last year's total Baltic market of 41 terawatt-hours.
Members of the management board of Polish company Enefit Sp. z o.o are Agan, chief executive of the Latvian and Lithuanian subsidiaries of Eesti Energia Janis Bethers and head of Enefit Sp. z o.o Maciej Kowalski. The Polish subsidiary, whose sole owner is Eesti Energia, employs six people on-site.
Eesti Energia is a state-owned energy group comprising 23 companies and over 5,800 employees as of the first quarter of 2017. The group operates in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Jordan and the U.S.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Government approves Estonia's EU presidency program
The Estonian government at Thursday's meeting approved the program of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, outlining issues and values that Estonia wants to focus on over the next six months.
"Estonia is ready for the presidency," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said according to a government press release. "We are ready to lead a union of 28 states which is home to more than 500 million people. The program approved today reflects our desire to keep the EU united, strong and forward-looking. Unity means supporting European ideas, principles and goals, but also making sure that no one feels left out or left behind. We wish to guide Europe toward decisions that bring tangible improvements to people's lives."
The program of the Estonian presidency of the EU is composed of four priority areas, as described by the Estonian government.
An open and innovative European economy
Estonia feels that an attractive business environment and functioning trade partnerships help stimulate job creation and the economy. Cutting down on excessive bureaucracy and making it easy to do business is essential for an open and innovative economy. Supporting economic growth and job creation means taking full advantage of the potential of the single market. Scientific research must also be supported in order to keep Europe open to innovation and new technologies. Integrating the EU's energy systems and markets is vital for ensuring a secure and affordable energy supply for customers.
A safe and secure Europe
The Estonian presidency values the security and safety of Europe. A Europe without borders requires joint solutions in security and external border policies, as well as in migration and asylum policy. In many ways, security is reliant on modern IT solutions and databases as well as closer cross-border cooperation. During its presidency, Estonia will make the effort to reinforce surveillance over Europe's external borders, and hopes to contribute to providing security, peace and stability in the EU's immediate neighborhood and beyond.
A digital Europe and the free movement of data
Estonia considers it important to develop digital society, the precondition for which is the free movement of data. High-speed, high-quality and accessible internet connectivity is one of the cornerstones of a smart, data-led economy. The EU is at an early stage in developing a data-led economy. The Estonian presidency will emphasize that digital society needs to be developed in all aspects of life.
An inclusive and sustainable Europe
The Estonian presidency deems it important to stand for an inclusive Europe, where equal opportunities are ensured for all. This means supporting a better balance in work and family life, increasing opportunities for young people as well as expanding volunteer activities. Estonia finds it important to promote a cleaner living environment, which can be ensured with the help of a green economy and implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Retail trade turnover grows 6 percent in March
As Statistics Estonia reports, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased by 6 percent at constant prices in March, compared to the same period last year.
In March 2017 the turnover of retail trade enterprises reached €545.7 million.
The turnover growth of stores selling manufactured goods accelerated. While in February the reported growth amounted to 3 percent year on year, in March it reached 11 percent. Turnover increased in five and decreased in two economic activities, with the biggest increase occurring in stores selling via mail order or the Internet. There, sales increased by 33 percent year on year.
Turnover also increased for stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (by 16 percent), second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale, by 15 percent), in non-specialised stores selling predominantly manufactured goods (e.g. department stores, by 12 percent) and in other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and related accessories, books, sports equipment, games and toys, etc. (by 12 percent).
Turnover of stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics as well as those selling textiles, clothing, and footwear decreased year on year in March.
The turnover of grocery stores, which had previously shown a slight decrease in the past months, grew again in March and increased by 2 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Companies selling automotive fuel increased their turnover by 4 percent compared to March 2016.
Turnover of retail trade enterprises increased by 16 percent compared to February. According to seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the growth reached 2 percent. In the first three months of 2017, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased by 3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Editor: Dario Cavegn