Enics to invest €5m in expansion of Southern Estonian plant
Enics Eesti AS, which runs an electronics plant near the Southern Estonian town of Elva, is planning an expansion that will see almost 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) added to the plant's workspace.
"In an environment led by global megatrends, where the manufacturing of electronic systems becomes more and more automated and at the same time needs to be more flexible, we have seen the opportunity to grow and sharpen our high-tech focus," said Hannu Keinanen president and CEO of Enics Group. "Enics Elva is a strong part of the Enics network. Based on the proven competencies and capabilities we have in place at Elva already today, we believe that now is the perfect time to invest in further growth."
Jaanus Aal, site manager at Enics Elva, said construction work on an additional 3,000 square meters of manufacturing space and 900 square meters of office space will begin in October 2016 and the expansion will be ready for manufacturing operations in Q3 of 2017.
Aal also noted that in the coming years, Enics Elva is planning on significantly increasing the number of jobs at its plant, including those for well-educated professionals as well as specialists in electronics manufacturing services.
The primary focus of Enics' Elva plant is higher volume production for leading industrial electronics customers. Employing a workforce of about 650 people, the plant is the biggest private employer in South Estonia.
Enics Group operates a total eight plants in Europe and Asia.
May imports up 11%, exports up 4% on year
The export of goods from Estonia increased by 4 percent and import by 11 percent in May compared to May 2015, Statistics Estonia reported on Monday. The import of goods increased more than export, however, resulting in a bigger trade deficit.
Exports from Estonia amounted to one billion euros and imports to the country to 1.2 billion euros at current prices in May. The trade deficit was 159 million euros, compared to 83 million euros in May 2015; the deficit increase could mainly be attributed to larger deficits in trade with Germany and the Netherlands.
The top destination for Estonia's exports in May was Sweden, accounting for 21 percent of Estonia's total exports, followed by Finland with 16 percent and Latvia with 10 percent. Increases were registered in exports to Sweden, Togo, Mexico and Finland, with noted increases in the export of electrical equipment, wooden items and prefabricated wooden buildings to Sweden, motor spirits to Togo, communication equipment to Mexico, and mechanical appliances and prefabricated wooden buildings to Finland. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Latvia.
The biggest share of Estonia's exports in May was in electrical equipment, followed by wood, wooden items and miscellaneous manufactured items. These same items significantly influenced the overall increase in exports as well. In electrical equipment, an increase was seen in the export of communication equipmnt and electrical transformers; in the category of miscellaneous manufactured articles, there was an increase in the export of pillows and blankets as well as prefabricated wooden buildings; an increase in the export of woodworking articles was noted as well. A decrease occurred in the export of mineral products, agricultural products as well as food preparations.
Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 73 percent of the country's total exports in May 2016, the export of which increased the most in trade with Sweden, up by 22 million euros, Togo, up by 12 million uros, Mexico, up by nine million euros, and Belgium, up by eight million euros. The share of goods of Estonian origin was the greatest in the exports of wood and wooden products at 98 percent, followed by paper and paper goods at 92 percent, and miscellaneous manufactured items at 89 percent.
The main countries of consignment in May were Finland, which accounted for 13 percent of Estonia's total imports, Germany, which accounted for 12 percent, and Latvia and Lithuania, which accounted forr 9 percent each. Compared to May 2015, the greatest increase took place in mechanical appliances from Germany, electrical equipment from the Netherlands, and transport equipment from Canada. During the same period, the biggest drop was seen in imports from Poland.
The main items to be imported in May were electrical equipment, transport equipment and mechanical appliances. For the second month in a row, imports of almost all commodities increased, with the exception of mineral products. The rise in imports was influenced the most by a 24 million euro increase in the import of transport equipment as well as the import of mechanical appliances and electrical equipment, both of which grew by 18 million euros.
Compared to April of this year, the export of goods decreased by 5 percent and import by 4 percent.
Duke of York to visit Estonia, take part in Tallinn tech conference
Invited by Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, Prince Andrew, Duke of York is scheduled to arrive in Estonia shortly, where he will be giving the opening keynote at tech conference Latitude59, to be held in Tallinn from May 31 to June 1.
Prince Andrew will participate in the conference’s opening panel alongside Rõivas and Tim Draper, the founder of American venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program Draper University.
He will also introduce the Pitch@Palace initiative, founded by the duke in order to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas by connecting them with potential supporters including CEOs, mentors, and key business partners.
“It is very exciting that the Duke of York will be returning to Estonia for Latitude59 to engage with Estonia’s tech leaders and bring Pitch@Palace to a new audience,” said British Ambassador to Estonia Chris Holtby. “The UK is already benefiting significantly from its commercial and governmental digital and technological links with Estonia, including through the new UK-Estonia TechLink program, and I am sure that this partnership will become even closer and more productive through this visit.”
Held for the ninth consecutive year in 2016, Latitude59 is one of the most important technology conferences in the Nordic and Baltic startup scenes. This year, global speakers and startups will discuss topics including Virtual Nation, building services on the Estonian e-Residency platform, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and the Internet of Things.
In addition to participating at the tech conference, Prince Andrew will also be visiting Pelgulinn High School to see students demonstrate their programming skills on Raspberry Pi computers, meet with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and visit the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the e-Estonia Demo Center.
As a representative of the Queen, Prince Andrew is the patron of the field of technology and enterprise. In recent years, his efforts have focused on three core areas — education and skills, entrepreneurship, and supporting science technology and engineering — promoting expertise in these areas, which attract investments to the UK, as well as promoting the further translation of science into business
VKG reactivates two refineries, re-hires 350
Viru Keemia Grupp announced on Thursday that they were reactivating two oil shale processing refineries, and taking 350 workers back on that they had previously laid off because of the oil world market price’s extreme low.
CEO of Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) Ahti Aasmann said that the decision to start up the two mothballed refineries had been considered carefully. The deliberations had taken into account both the company’s financial situation as well as the government’s specific steps to create a tax environment appropriate to world market prices.
“We’re hoping that the constructive dialogue between the businesses in this sector and the government will continue, and that as a result a new tax system is created that supports the competitiveness of Estonian shale oil production on the global market and guarantees long-term tax revenues for the state,” Aasmann said.
He went on to say that current trends in the market gave reason for “restrained optimisim”, and that the reactivation of the two refineries positively affected VKG’s employees, the number of which would rise by about 350.
“Before anything else we’re offering jobs to our former staff,” Aasmann stressed. If needed, VKG would hire more, and in such a case would announce open positions on its website.
The necessary preparations, including thorough checks of the refineries’ installations, have already begun. According to VKG, they’ll reach their full capacity some time in early September.
Agreement opening Chinese market to Estonian dairy products signed
Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) and Vice Minister Mei Kebao signed a protocol on food safety that will make it possible for Estonian dairy producers to export to the Chinese market.
Kruuse met Mei Kebao, Chinas’ vice minister responsible for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), on Monday. The main objective of the meeting was to achieve an agreement opening the Chinese market to Estonian dairy producers, the minister said.
“As a result of several years of negotiations between our supervisory institutions as well as inspections carried out in Estonia, the Chinese minister has confirmed that he is ready to sign the dairy protocol at the Tallinn meeting,” Kruuse announced on Friday last week.
"Estonia produces almost twice as much milk as it needs,” Kruuse added. “We hope the signing of the protocol will remove bureaucratic barriers.” He also said that the government would continue to support Estonian businesses on their way to entering the Chinese market.
Four Chinese inspectors visited Estonia in September 2015 to assess the organization of state supervision as part of the process towards recognition of Estonian veterinary certificates. They also visited three milk processing companies and a dairy farm.
Kruuse and Mei had already signed a memorandum of understanding between the two countries in which China recognized the overall organization of food and veterinary monitoring in Estonia in Bejing last year.