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Machinery and metalworking
Machinery and metalworking

Estonia - the Land of Engineers

The development of the Estonian engineering industry is mainly affected by foreign markets, most of the production is exported (about 80%). According to forecasts the export of the engineering industry as well as sale to the domestic market will increase in the longer perspective. Production is exported most to Finland, Sweden, Russia, Germany and Norway.

The engineering industry’s production and the number of persons working in the sector increased in 2014, in addition more investments were made, this primarily into the machine and equipment fleet and buildings. About 60% of investments were directed into machines and equipment.

Over 150 small and medium size producers of machines and equipment operate in Estonia whose production includes wood-processing equipment, logging trailers, log lifts, construction lifts, forestry vehicles, handling and lifting equipment and their parts, production automation, industrial equipment, industrial electronics, various equipment for the engineering industry and institutional kitchen equipment. Estonian companies

 Electronics and components

The Estonian electronics and electrical equipment production sector differs from the others by fast development, which is related to globalisation and adaptation to the speed of product development. The sector is strongly oriented to the foreign market, the majority of the sales revenue is made up of export (95%). Most of the larger companies of the sector are also based on foreign capital. In 2014 companies exported their production most into Sweden, Finland, the USA, Mexico and the UK.

Sales revenue of companies has increased around three times in the last six years. In addition to sales revenue the production volumes and employment also grow continuously and the future growth potential can also be assessed as high. In 2014 the sector’s investments into tangible assets were still growing, the greatest part of investments went into machines and equipment.

Nearly 200 companies operated in the electronics and electrical equipment production sector in 2014, which at the same time makes up a small percentage of the entire processing industry. The production of electronics and electrical equipment is divided into two sub-branches. The producers or computers, electronics and optical equipment, make mobile telecommunications network devices, electronic components for industrial and medical equipment, various telecommunications equipment and computers. Of electrical equipment electricity switch gears and electric generators, control apparatus of electricity switch gears, electric motors and equipment and cables are produced. Estonian companies

Wood and furniture sector
Wood and furniture sector

Estonia – the Land of Forests

Timber is one of the more important natural resources in Estonia next to oil shale and gives an important contribution into balancing the foreign trade balance. The timber industry is one of Estonia’s largest industries and in the last five years stable growth has prevailed in the sector, timber prices are rising and production and export volumes are increasing. Export, which makes up nearly two thirds of sales, has always had an important position for the Estonian timber industry. In 2014 export turnover existed with 95 different countries, the main export countries of destination were Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and Great Britain. Of larger product groups the segment of wooden houses continued solid growth.

The competitiveness of the timber industry is extremely important for the Estonian economy. As a sector valuing domestic resources, the added value generated from export is largely kept in Estonia. It is also an important employer. In 2014 investments into the timber industry increased by 53% in comparison with the previous year. Even though the added value of the sector has continued to grow, it is higher in larger strongly automated companies.

About a thousand companies operate in timber processing and producing timber products. The larger companies of the sector own modern technology and have a high level of competitiveness in domestic as well as foreign markets. The timber industry’s selection of products is wide – wooden doors and windows, shutters and their frames, sawn and planed timber and laminated timber beams, parquet flooring, packages and cable-drums, veneer and plywood, particle and fibreboard, laminated timber, garden houses are produced and the production of wooden houses has come into the picture increasingly more. Estonian companies


The furniture industry is a sector with long traditions in Estonia, more than 500 companies operate in Estonia. Successful competing on foreign markets has an important place in furniture production. About two thirds of the output is exported, but in the last few years the proportion of export has slowly reduced as the domestic market has been significantly stronger in comparison with the main foreign markets. The main export countries of destination in 2014 were Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany and the main exported product groups were seats, furniture parts, dining and living room furniture, wooden kitchen furniture, wooden bedroom furniture and other furniture products.

Global business services

The products and services of the information and communications sector are strongly linked to the developments of other sectors of the economy, which makes the sector important for the entire Estonian economic system. The sector is developing in a stable manner and is creating great added value, which is comparable to the average of the OECD countries. The continuous growth of the sector’s sales revenue, added value and number of employees is in accordance with the long-term prospects of the given field. Thanks to the positive developments of economic indicators the sector is becoming one of the most competitive sectors in Estonia.

ICT sector
ICT sector

Estonia - front runner in implementing e-solutions

In the field of internet and data communications, significant investments have been made into telecommunications infrastructure. With fibre optic cables covering the whole country, and direct undersea connections to Finland and Sweden and links to Russia and Latvia, high-standard communications are guaranteed. The Internet is widely used among the locals — about 84% of 16–74 year old people used the Internet in 2014.

Logistics and transportation sector
Logistics and transportation sector

Estonia - between East and West

Estonia’s geographic location creates an excellent ability to offer logistics services in every field. Transport services therefore give an important contribution into receiving export revenue and balance Estonia’s foreign trade balance. Estonian transport system includes railroad, road, sea, inland waterway and air transport, electric transport in cities and pipeline transport. The revenue of Estonian transport companies increased in 2014 but due to the continuing deceleration of economic growth and the small demand resulting from it (incl. export demand), significant growth is not foreseen in the transport sector in 2015. Estonian companies


Estonia at a glance

The Republic of Estonia was proclaimed on 24 February 1918. Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991 and has since embarked on a rapid program of social and economic reform.

Official name: Republic of Estonia

Head of State: President, webpage: president.ee

Government: Parliamentary Republic, single chamber Parliament (Riigikogu) of 101 members

National Currency: Euro

Membership: EU, NATO, OECD, Schengen area.

Total Area: 45,227 square km neighboring Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Russia.

Population: 1.3 million, 68% of the population lives in the urban areas.

Capital town: Tallinn (412,500 inhabitants)

Other Major Towns: Tartu (97,900), Narva (58,700), Pärnu (39,900) and Kohtla-Järve (36,900).

Language: Estonian, other languages such as English, Russian and Finnish are also widely spoken.

Main Religion: Lutheran

Labour: Employment rate was 63.0% and unemployment rate was 7.4% in 2014.

Economy growth: 2.1% (2014)

GDP per capita: 14 853.3 euros (2014)

Export of GDP: 85% (2014)

Most important export markets: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany.

Most important export industries: Electrical machinery, mineral products, wood and wood products, furniture, mechanical equipment and beverages.

Major Natural Resources: Timber, oil shale, phosphorite, peat, limestone, dolomite

Time Zone: GMT + 2 hours

Distance from Tallinn: Helsinki 85 km, Riga 307 km, St Petersburg 395 km, Stockholm 405 km, Vilnius 605 km

Flight times: Helsinki 35 min, Stockholm 1 h, Copenhagen 1 h 30 min, Moscow 1 h 40 min, Amsterdam 2 h 20 min, London 2 h 45 min

Climate: Average daily temperature Annual mean +7.0 °C in January –6.4 °C in July +19.6 °C (2014)

Nature: 50% of the Estonian territory is covered by forest.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonian recreational vessel builders aim jointly at German market

Enterprise Estonia will take 14 Estonian shipbuilders to the boat show Hanseboot 2012, taking place from 27 October to 4 November in Hamburg, Germany. Hanseboot is one of the most important boat shows in North-Germany and Scandinavia, offering the widest-ranging exposition. Participation of Estonian entrepreneurs is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Martin Hirvoja, Member of the Management Board of Enterprise Estonia, is glad that recreational vessel builders in Estonia have decided to journey together with Enterprise Estonia to establish themselves jointly in the vast German market. "Recreational vessel building is a branch of activity with very long-standing traditions in Estonia, and today we have a number of outstanding examples of products in this sector that are aimed at the end-user and have high added value," said Hirvoja.

Tarmo Absalon, owner of Polar Shipyard, also regards participation in Hanseboot as highly important. "The Hamburg show is visited by the local solvent business elite, plus possible clients from elsewhere in Germany and Scandinavia. Our company also took part in the show last year, and we found plenty of valuable contacts and press coverage," said Absalon.

The Estonian joint display covers more than 700 m2, and 14 enterprises with 26 vessels are represented. Premiers of several Estonian recreational crafts will take place at Hanseboot 2012; for example, Polar Shipyard will introduce their new sailing yacht POLAR 55, which has the most sophisticated and luxurious interior that has ever been built in Estonia, and Tekno Marine Eesti and LingaLaid will also be represented with new vessels, introducing the boats Seiskari 242-CC "Evo" and LingaLaid 530.

Estonian recreational vessel builders participating in the show are: Alfa Yacht Production, BeneNavis , Britamarine EV, Efekt, EIX, Kasse Paadid, Lingalaid, Marineworld, Nordtenwest, Polar Shipyard, Ridas Yacht & Composites, Saare Paat, Tekno Marine Eesti and Vätta Puit.

On 30 October, a reception introducing our recreational vessel builders and maritime tourism will take place at the Estonian display, which will be opened by Juhan Parts, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia.

Read more: http://j.mp/SMPWIq 

Estonia to increase exports

The Estonian government has set a goal to increase the share of Estonia’s exports in world trade by 0.1% by the year 2015. According to the WTO, Estonia’s share is currently at 0.099%.

The government said in a statement that exports have a substantial impact on the country’s economy, accounting for approximately 72% of GDP. Furthermore, strong exports have an important role in Estonia’s competitiveness.

According to the Statistics Office, Estonia’s exports were annually up by 4.6% in the first eight months of 2012. Export of chemistry products has grown the most compared to the same period in 2011, being up by 22.2%, followed by metal products (13.8%) and plastic and rubber (11.8%). In August, machinery and equipment were the major export articles at 28% of total sales to foreign countries. Some 65% of goods were sold to European Union countries in August.

Estonia´s biggest export markets over the years have been Sweden, Findland and Russia as can be seen on the graph (source: Estonian Statistical office) below.


Estonia was ranked 7th in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report’s Trading Across Borders section. Overall, the country ranked 21st among 185 countries.

Source: Ease of Doing Business in Estonia (2012), Estonian Goverment webpage

Estonian start-up GrabCAD raises 8 million dollars

Estonian start-up company GrabCAD, which offers an online community and cloud-based collaboration tools for those involved in designing and building physical products, has raised $8.15 million in investments in the B round. 

The investment was led by Charles River Ventures, with participation from new investor David Sacks (co-founder of Yammer and former chief operating officer of PayPal), and existing investors Atlas Venture, NextView Ventures and Matrix Partners. This brings GrabCAD’s total funding to around $14 million.

GrabCAD will use the new capital to accelerate the company’s growth as it builds new collaborative tools to improve the design and communication processes in the “creation of physical products”.

The company is headquartered in Boston but maintains an office with a development team in Tallinn, where the company was started. Its community is as big as 250,000 members, which is equivalent to 10% of the world’s computer-aided design (CAD) engineers.

Source: E24 -  http://j.mp/SApAGh, techcrunch.com - http://j.mp/SsUb8j