Estonia

There are some of us who know the value of Estonia and what this country has to offer especially to manufacturers there is a great deal hidden behind this mysterious or even secret country leaving a lot to explore. The reason is probably because this country is modest in terms of its achievements regaining independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Estonia become one of the most successful capitalistic Eastern-European countries.

Estonia may be small in size (45,227 km2) and population (1,3 million) but it’s versatile, starting from agriculture and industry to high-end digital services and products (e-residency, e-estonia). This article gives you a glimpse of what Estonia has to offer and how your business will profit from it.

1 The benefits of Estonia.

Being a member state of the EU since 2004 and joining the eurozone in 2011, Estonia has access to a wide market. The Indicator of Economic Freedom shows Estonia is an excellent country to do business with. Ranked 6th in the world and 2nd in the region by the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation. Not to mention Estonia has stable public finances. In 2017 the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia indicates the Estonian general government deficit was 0.3% and the gross debt level was 9% of GDP. This makes it the lowest national debt-to-GDP ratio in the entire EU (see source 2).

Estonia is very open to trade 155% of GDP according to World Bank, 2016 being recognized as one of the most liberal countries in the world. Overall, Estonia is placed 12th out of 190 economies in the world and the trade across border rank is 17 (see source 4).

These figures further substantiate Estonia is one of the top destinations to do business in.

2 What to import from Estonia.

Estonia has laid emphasis on exports in recent years but still, the trade balance is structurally negative. The statistics of Estonia in 2017 shows that the exports of goods have grown by 8% (€ 12.8 billion) and imports by 9% (€ 14.7 billion) this means the trade deficit was € 1.9 billion. This increase was due to the fact that transport equipment including ships were imported (see source 1).

Here is an overview of the main export articles in 2017:

• Electric and electronical equipment.
• Wood and articles of wood.
• Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products.
• Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery etc.
• Furniture, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings.
• Articles of iron or steel.
• Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus.
• Plastics and articles thereof.
(see source 3).

These are the main export articles from Estonia and right now the statistics shows electric and electoral equipment, base metal and articles of base metal, miscellaneous manufactured articles (prefabricated wood buildings, furniture), mineral products (motor spirit, electricity) and transport equipment (motor cars) and mechanical appliances are the main articles for export (see source 5). The dairy products like milk and skimmed milk powder exports is going to increase where the demand for these products is high (see source 8).

The indication that entrepreneurship in Estonia is growing shows the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) which is 19% while the global average is 12%. Also, the Activity Established Business Ownership Rate is 11% when the global average is around 8% (see source 6).

3 What to export to Estonia.

The imports of Estonia have been rising in upward. Here is the list of main import articles in 2017:

• Electrical, electronic equipment.
• Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery.
• Vehicles other than railway, tramway.
• Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, etc.
• Plastics and articles thereof.
• Articles of iron or steel.
• Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal.
• Pharmaceutical products.
• Ships, boats and other floating structures.
(see source 3).

This shows the main imports and right now the demand is still high for some of the above-mentioned articles. Judging from the recent statistics, mineral products, metals and articles of base metal, electrical equipment are most needed imports (See source 7). Looking further then the need for clean energy products is going to increase.

Since Estonia is part of the EU, most of the restrictions and prohibitions are regulated by EU legislation. These are quite usual by import/export standards : waste, dangerous chemicals, strategic goods, arms and ammunition for civilian use, radioactive substances and equipment containing them, explosive and pyrotechnics, medicine, endangered species of animals and plants, plants and plant products, fruits and vegetables, plant protection products, feeds, fertilizers, animals, animal products and food products, certificate and analysis report for the import of wine, grape juice and juice, cultural heritage (see source 3). This list doesn’t explicitly mean products manufactured by your company cannot be imported into Estonia. To specify the details please contact us on Riot for further information.

4 Contact us.

You could be a manufacturer interested in the opportunity to export to Estonia, or a freelancer interested in importing from Estonia and/or exporting from your country. Contact us on public Riot chat room https://riot.im/app/#/room/#Ubinodes-World:matrix.org and ask for a consultant based in Estonia for further details.