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Estonian economy

About Estonia

Estonia at a glance
  • Estonia covers an area of 45 227 sq km neighboring Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Russia.

  • 50% of Estonian land is covered by forests.

  • Estonian climate is humid and temperate.

  • 30% of Estonia's 1,34 million population lives in the capital Tallinn.

  • Estonia is among the least densely populated countries in the world.

  • Estonians are Finnic people with the Estonian and Finnish languages sharing many similarities.

  • Over the centuries, Estonians have been subjected to Danish, Teutonic, Swedish and Russian rule.

  • Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991 and has since embarked on a rapid program of social and economic reform.Estonia joined both EU and NATO is 2004.


Estonia is a country located at the heart of the Baltic Sea Region - Europe's fastest-growing market of more than 90 million people. It is a country described by  political and economic stability accessibility ease and  low cost of doing business and  investor equality .

Since joining the European Union and NATO in 2004, Estonia has experienced phenomenal economic growth. Today, Estonia´s government debt is among the lowest in Europe and the economy has shown considerable endurance to the global economic crisis.

Estonia is accessible, both from a logistical and social point of view - Tallinn is within 3 hours flight from major European capitals and the power distance is very low. Also, as a front-runner is applying modern IT solutions, communications technology makes distances in Estonia irrelevant.

Estonia is ranked among the top 25 out of all countries in the Ease of Doing Business index by The World Bank Group. Estonian business life has largely reoriented from the east to the west and today, the business regulation is less rigid than in the neighbouring Nordic countries.

The Estonian cost level is gradually converging with the surrounding European Union, but still there are meaningful differences. Estonian taxes are low and simple, and labour costs are third of those in Sweden or Finland.

Foreign investors have played a decisive role in building the Estonian economy. Estonia has not based its attraction of FDI on specially designed support schemes but it is our favourable business environment that makes the difference.

This is a country with an exceptional business environment that has allowed highly successful companies like SKYPE ( ), Playtech ( ), Swedbank ( ), Ericsson ( ), Tallink Group ( ), ABB ( ), Elcoteq ( ) and others to flourish.

Estonian character

Nordic influence

We live in a Nordic country. That means unspoilt nature, mercilessly harsh weather, white nights and dark days.

It also means the strict discipline required from us by our climate - clear shapes, quality in both thinking and action, as well as sustainable development and concern for the future.


We have inhabited this land for thousands of years. This is phenomenal in the whole of Europe and rare in the world.

We have been daunted by various wars and foreign domination but we're still here. This provides us with a historical background that is unique in the world.

There is heroic romance in our rootedness. It also gives us unique language and traditions.

The eastern influence

We ourselves come from the east, and many people have come there from the east since. It would be naïve to think that we have no relation with the [land of the] rising sun.

We have inherited our generally quite hospitable nature from the east. Also, our present educational background has discernible eastern influences.


Logistically, we are located in a complex place. We straddle the sea, land, forest and various cultures. Throughout our existence, we have had to adapt to different influences and restrictions.

We are adapters. Today our e- and m-thinking is a good example of our adaptability. We are pioneers who apply efficient means and do so quickly.

Many exciting contrasts

We have ancient history and high-tech, eastern hospitality and northern conservativeness, a liberal economic environment and pristine nature.

It is amazing how a people with a strong inner angst can acquire new stills so easily, or how odd a tradition is for an introverted Nordic people to form huge choirs every once in a while and sing together.

Estonian business


Estonia can offer a progressive business environment with an efficient and compatible infrastructure. Our e-services, mobile communications and internet applications are among the most progressive in the world. Estonians are adaptable towards new technologies, and use them willingly.

Nordic influence

At the same time, our Nordic influence gives investors a transparent, clearly defined, sincere and honest partner who is considerate, rational and not very talkative. The Estonian approach is functional and one that creates timeless value. Our natural resources are powerful and accessible.


As an added value, rootedness is like a guarantee that Estonians do not give up and would rather break their arm than a promise they have given. Perseverance and culture are a good basis for long-term plans in any area of business.

Business at a glance

  • Estonia has been ranked 14th in the Index of Economic Freedom (2011, Wall Street Journal/The Heritage Foundation), 17th in the Ease of Doing Business Report (2011, World Bank), and 35th in the Global Competitiveness Report (2010, World Economic Forum).

  • Estonia has some of the highest credit ratings in the region (Fitch IBCA, Standard & Poor's, Moody's).

  • Estonia is a member of euro area as of January 1, 2011.

  • 0% corporate income tax is imposed on all reinvested earnings in Estonia.

  • The Estonian cost level is still significantly lower than that of neighboring Scandinavian countries.

  • In Estonia, all capital is treated equally, foreign or domestic.

  • Estonia is a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the New York Convention.

  • Estonia is the leading country in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of attracting foreign direct investments.

  • Estonia is one of the leading countries in the world in creating and implementing e-government solutions and cyber security.

  • Estonia is within 3 hours flight from most major European, Scandinavian and Russian cities.

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