International companies negotiating to move production to Ida-Viru County
According to Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE), several domestic and international companies are in negotiations with Enterprise Estonia to move production to Ida-Viru County.
The government’s job creation support scheme for the area entered into effect on Sunday, according to which support is granted to any business that hires at least 20 unemployed currently registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa).
Ossinovski said on ETV’s “Terevisioon” on Monday that the interested companies wanted to make use of the skills available in Ida-Viru County. The minister expects at least 600 jobs to be created in the area before the end of 2017.
Teet Kuusmik of Ida-Virumaa Industrial Areas Development (IVIA) said that the companies with whom negotiations showed promise could create up to 3,000 new jobs. In total there are about 30 companies interested, three quarters of which are from outside Estonia. The businesses in question produce in the metal, wood, and plastics industries.
World's biggest international cyber defense exercise taking place in Tallinn
The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn is hosting international live-fire cyber defense exercise Locked Shields 2016. The exercise, which began on Monday, April 18 and is scheduled to last through Friday, includes 550 top computer security professionals from various countries.
“Locked Shields is unique in forcing the hands-on network defenders from 19 nations and NATO to work together and exchange information,” said Sven Sakkov, director of the CCD COE. “International cooperation is the key to successful cyber defense and this exercise is a perfect example of just that.”
Sakkov added that “The impact of the exercise … goes a lot further than technical skills. These computer emergency response teams, be they civilian or military, will better know whom to call when needing assistance in the future.”
Senior Fellow at the CCD COE Jaan Priisalu gave an overview of what the five-day exercise would involve. “The organizers have built identical virtual networks for all the defensive teams in this scenario-based exercise,” he said. “They play the role of the rapid reaction teams of the fictional country of Berylia, protecting a total of about 2,000 machines.”
Priisalu explained that Locked Shields uses realistic networks, technologies, and attack methods on par with real-world developments.
“We included smart phones and critical infrastructure components such as power grids in Locked Shields last year,” he said. “A central part of the scenario focused on drones and regaining control of our own systems after they have been broken into. In 2016, the networks include a variety of open platforms: Windows 8 and 10, Linux, and Apple iOS. The services the defense teams have to maintain range from websites, email and online shopping to industrial control systems.”
Locked Shields 2016 is slated to be the biggest and most advanced international live-fire cyber defense exercise in the world. The annual scenario-based real-time network defense exercise, which has been organized by the CCD COE since 2010, focuses on training security experts who protect national IT systems.
The CCD COE is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub, think tank, and training facility. The international military organization focuses on interdisciplinary applied research and development, as well as consultations, trainings, and exercises in the field of cyber security.
Locked Shields 2016 has been organized in cooperation with numerous partners, including the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Army, and the United States European Command.
Exports and imports up in February
Estonian exports of goods grew by 7%, imports increased by 5% compared to the same month last year. Goods of Estonian origin accounted for one third of growth in exports, Statistics Estonia reported on Monday.
Exports from Estonia amounted to €900m, imports reached €1.1bn at current prices. The trade deficit was €140m compared to €151m in February 2015.
The main destination countries were Sweden, which accounted for 20% of Estonian exports, Finland at 16%, and Latvia at 9%. An increase was recorded in exports to all main destination countries, with exports to Sweden growing by €23m, to Canada by €20m and to Finland by €12m. Exports to the Netherlands decreased the most, namely by €16m.
Of exported goods, electrical equipment, wood and wood products, and various manufactured goods performed the best, while a rise was registered in the export of almost all commodity sections. Miscellaneous manufactured goods, where prefabricated buildings made the biggest contribution to growth, transport equipment, and electrical equipment showed the biggest increase. The export of mechanical appliances declined.
Goods of Estonian origin, i.e. goods both produced and processed in Estonia, made up 70% of total exports in February and grew by 3% compared to the same month last year. Among the to-ten destination countries, their share was biggest in exports to Denmark (94%) and Britain (89%), and smallest in exports to Russia (20%).
Top countries of consignment were Finland, which accounted for 13% of total imports, Germany at 11%, and Latvia and Sweden at 9% each. Compared to February 2015, imports from Germany increased the most, namely by €18m. Imports from Latvia grew by €14m, and from Sweden by €13m. At the same time imports from Russia decreased by €19m.
The main commodities imported were electrical equipment, mechanical appliances, agricultural products and food preparations, and transport equipment. The biggest rise was recorded in the import of mechanical appliances and transport equipment, while the import of mineral products decreased significantly.
Compared to January, exports increased 11% and imports 8%.
ABB to establish shared services center in Tallinn
Swiss multinational industrial group ABB is planning to build a shared services center in Tallinn's Ülemiste City business district. Real estate developer Mainor Ülemiste AS confirmed that ABB is planning to rent office space for 500 employees.
Weekly Eesti Ekspress reported early on Wednesday that ABB would become the largest tenant of the developer in the Öpik office building, which is due to be completed in autumn this year.
A source in Switzerland known to ERR confirmed that ABB is about to announce the establishment of a regional shared services center in Tallinn.
Different divisions of the company have been undergoing reconsolidation, as ABB is reducing the number of its global operational groups from eight to three. This means that its presence in different countries is reduced in favor of regional shared service centers, of which one is going to be in Tallinn.
According to Ekspress, searching for suitable premises ABB could choose between the developments of Technopolis Ülemiste and Mainor Ülemiste. Estonian tycoon Ülo Pärnits controls almost half of the former and almost all of the latter.
Technopolis didn’t make the cut because the next major office building in its development, the 13-story Endel Lippmaa House, will not be completed until 2018.
Which of its divisions exactly ABB is planning to move to Tallinn remained unclear. ERR News contacted both ABB Estonia and the multinational’s Swiss head office, but both offices stated that they couldn’t currently comment on the matter.
According to ERR's source, whether or not this step will lead to large-scale layoffs in other countries isn't yet clear.
ABB has been active in Estonia for more than 20 years. ABB AS was founded in December 1991 and has since done business in the energetics and automation sectors. Its Estonian headquarters are located just south of Tallinn in the town of Jüri, where the company's ABB One Campus is located (see image).
ABB AS employed approximately 1,200 people in 2013.
Source: ERR, BNS
Estonian company to build 5000 pre-fab refugee housing units for Germany
Akso-Haus OÜ have so far exported 34 modular houses intended for refugees to Germany. Over the coming years, the company will significantly increase production and hire additional workers, as it’s planning to sell around 5,000 such houses more to Germany.
Regional weekly Harju Elu reported that in autumn last year the company had received several enquiries regarding the building of houses for refugees. By now, the company has built 34 such houses, and is planning to build around 100 houses a month for the next four to five years, which will eventually amount to around 5,000 houses, Andres Samarüütel of Akso-Haus told the newspaper.
Samarüütel added that to meet the large orders, the company had to take into use the 7,500-square-meter building next to its 2,500-square-meter production facility. The number of employees building the modular houses would rise from 60 to 150.
Once finished, such a house is then loaded on a trailer and taken to a port, from where it continues on a ship that then takes it to Germany, Samarüütel said.
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