Estonian computer programme Lingvist teaching foreign languages in 200 hours has received more than million euros from investors. The Estonian start-up has had investments from all over the world. Heads of Lingvist Mait Müntel and Ott Jalakas say that they have been invited to move to Silicon Valley and while the company’s team works from Tallinn, it is registered in Boston, USA. The company got started as Müntel wanted to learn French while working for CERN in Switzerland and created a relevant programme. Later he discussed investments with one of the Skype founders, Jaan Tallinn, who was working on a computer programme that would teach Japanese, but then decided to invest in Lingvist instead. About 40 per cent of Lingvist users are in Estonia, but the next biggest user groups are in the USA and Japan.
(Äripäev, page 8, September 8, 2014)
Estonian tourism firms study Asian markets. Enterprise Estonia (EAS) will send a delegation of Estonian tourism firms to China to tighten contacts in China. EAS tourism director Tarmo Mutso noted that China and Japan are without doubt attractive destinations, but also local characteristics must be taken into account. He said that the charter flight from Japan to Estonia required lots of efforts from all parties, but the result was worth it.
(Äripäev, page 9, September 8, 2014)
OECD: Estonians education level is higher than the average. The annual education survey shows that Estonians’ education level is one of the highest among the surveyed countries. In Estonia 90 per cent of people aged 25-64 have at least upper secondary education, while the OECD average is 75 per cent. Also, Estonia’s 37 per cent of people with higher education is 5 per cent higher than the average.
(Postimees, page 3, September 10, 2014)
Estonia’s direct investments to Finland continue to grow. Estonian companies looking to expand their activities now consider more expanding to Finland instead of Latvia and Lithuania due to more similar business cultures. For instance, Maag bought a Finnish meat company Pouttu to succeed in Finland.
(Postimees, page 8-9, September 10, 2014)
Estonian start-up High Mobility helps people communicate with cars. High Mobility’s solution has a person’s device, e.g. phone, communicate with car. High Mobility cooperates also with Panasonic.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 17, September 10, 2014)
Sten Tamkivi who launched a start-up Teleport received $ 2.5 million investment. Teleport software helps people, who can work from anywhere in the world, to choose an appropriate place to live based on information about education, accommodation, food, transport, healthcare, and so on.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 17, September 10, 2014)
Export increased, although export to Russia fell by one-fifth in July. According to Statistics Estonia, in July 2014, exports of goods increased by 6 per cent and imports remained on the same level compared to July of 2013. It was the biggest increase in exports in the last 14 months compared to same period of the previous year. In July, exports from Estonia amounted to nearly € 1 billion and imports to Estonia to € 1.1 billion at current prices. In July, the annual decrease in export to Russia was 19 per cent. At the same time export to the USA increased the most by € 34 million or 2.8 times, to Latvia it increased by € 14 million and to the Netherlands by € 12 million.
(Äripäev, page 6, September 10, 2014)
More tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in July compared to the previous year. According to Statistics Estonia, 440,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in July, which is 4 per cent more than in July 2013. The number of both domestic and foreign tourists increased. In July, 292,000 foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments – this is 3 per cent more than in July of 2013.
(Äripäev, page 8, September 11, 2014)
Data warehouse to create up to 100 jobs. Developers from Spain are planning an international data warehouse in the town of Haapsalu. Representative of the investors, Juan Roman Saenz-Diez, said that Estonia is located in a strategically brilliant place between Scandinavia and Russia, has very good internet connections and competitive energy, labour and development prices. Saenz-Diaz also said that it is very positive Estonia is free of earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanos and other disruptive natural phenomena. The developers initially plan to spend € 60 million on the 10,000 square meter server park, and create 50-100 jobs the company hopes to fill with local IT specialists. The developers hope to get the details sorted before the year is out and launch construction in the first half of 2015.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 9, September 12, 2014)
Wooden houses are becoming Estonia’s trademark. Head of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mait Palts says that the fact that one of the biggest business delegations of all times accompanied President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on his state visit to Norway reflects clearly our companies’ big interest in the market. Also, export of wooden houses to Norway has significantly increased over the years. Estonia is also known in Norway thanks to its wooden houses as well as its good IT-reputation.
(Äripäev, Construction extra, page 44, September 15, 2014)
Estonia has the best tax system. According to the think tank Tax Foundation, Estonian tax system is the best system among the OECD countries, while the worst system is in France. The Tax Foundation praised Estonia for “having the most competitive tax system in the developed world” and a “relatively low” 21 per cent taxation rate for corporations and individuals.
(Postimees, page 8, September 16, 2014)
Stratasys buys Estonian start-up GrabCAD. One of the world's leading 3D printers and printing solutions manufacturer Stratasys announced that it has acquired Estonian start-up GrabCAD. Tech Crunch puts the initially undisclosed price of the transaction at roughly $ 100 million. Creator and executive manager of GrabCAD Hardi Meybaum will continue to run the subunit at Stratasys. The company said in its press release that it hopes to offer clients improved cooperation opportunities and tools in the field of 3D CAD through the transaction. "The fact that an Estonian entrepreneur has built the world's largest engineering bureau comes as a clear signal to both young engineering enthusiasts and the Estonian state in that engineering education is worth valuing," said GrabCAD’s first investor Marek Kiisa. GrabCAD will keep its offices in Estonia and is expected to expand even further.
(Äripäev, pages 4-5, September 16, 2014)
Estonia's University of Tartu ranks record high among world's best universities. According to one of the most important university ranking lists in the world, the QS World University Rankings, published on Tuesday the University of Tartu now holds the highest position ever - the 379th. The steady rise of the university is even more valuable considering that new universities generously financed by countries with faster economic growth are added to the list all the time. In 2013, the University of Tartu placed in the range of 461–470. Of the Baltic countries' universities Tallinn University of Technology is 501–550, Vilnius University 551–600, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University 701+ and the University of Latvia 701+. This year the data of over 3,000 universities around the world were analysed.
(Äripäev, page 3, September 16, 2014)
Bank of Estonia expects Estonia’s GDP growth to be 2.1 per cent in 2014 and 2.5 per cent in 2015.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 8, September 24, 2014)
In a decade, tourism to Estonia has increased by 40 per cent. In 2004-2013, Estonian accommodation establishments have had 24 million tourists of whom two-third were foreign tourists.
(Postimees, page 10 September 27, 2014)
Luxury buildings maker Swiss Property moves its production and design to Estonia. Because of cheaper labour and other positive aspects, the Swiss company chose Estonia as its company location from among 20 countries. The firm plans to hire a couple hundred workers in Estonia and has already empoyed 35 people among whom are also architects and engineers. CEO Oliver Wolfensberger noted that Estonia has the best economy in the EU.
(Postimees, pages 8-9, September 30, 2014)
High quality Danish technology firm Bang &Olufsen has its IT-development also in Estonia. In Tallinn the company not only writes codes, but also develops software for video products and multimedia and car sound systems. For instance, the car system unit develops audio amplifiers for Bang & Olufsen speakers in Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Aston Martin cars.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 17, October 1, 2014)
In August power production decreased annually by 11 per cent, while renewable energy production went up by 40 per cent, reports Elering. The biggest increase was in wind energy production that increased by 62 per cent. Hydro energy production went up by 48 and biomass energy by 29 per cent.
(Äripäev, page 7, October 1, 2014)
Agriculture Ministry: this year Estonia had record grain crops with 1.2 million tons, annually up by 22 per cent.
(Äripäev, page 11, October 1, 2014)
Number of tourists from Asia is rising. At the ninth tourism conference organised by the Estonian Tourism Firms Association it was said that for the increase to continue, companies must be more familiar with the local market, have websites in local language and introduce Estonia more. Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Anne Sulling said that there is a strong competition for Asian tourists, but Estonia can offer real experiences with its pure nature. Tallink Group board member Peter Roose noted also that patience is needed to attract Asian tourists, but it is worth the effort. Enterprise Estonia hopes to have 25,000 Chinese and 18,000 Japanese tourists in the Estonian accommodation establishments by 2020.
(Postimees, page 9; Äripäev, pages 12-13, October 3, 2014)
Ambulance cars to make another step towards making processes digital. Doctors will now start to write patient information immediately digitally instead of writing separate paper and digital forms. This step will improve digital data on patients and save time in the future.
(Postimees, page 6, October 7, 2014)
Estonia is becoming popular among successful and perspective IT-firms. In the upcoming weeks many very important global IT-firms, i.e. Acronis, Parallels Acumatica, and Scandinavian biggest software and consultancy firm Visma will decide whether to open a branch in Estonia. All praise Estonia for its great geographical location, good education system and various language skills, including high level Russian and English knowledge, but also for excellent technology competence and IT education. Kristi Tiivas, internationalisation director at Enterprise Estonia, said she has met with all representatives and their interest is a proof that Estonia is a successful IT-country. Tiivas believed that Estonia’s stability during crisis times and current Russia’s instability offer positive possibilities for Estonia.
(Eesti Päevaleht, pages 16-17, October 7, 2014)
Premia Foods sold its ice cream and frozen foods operations. Premia Foods Supervisory Board Chairman, Indrek Kasela, said the company sells its Baltic and Russian ice cream and frozen foods operations for € 27 million to the Food Union owner, Ukrainian businessman Andrey Beskhmenitskiy. Kasela believed the competition will become tighter in the Estonian and Latvian market because the firm’s plan is to focus more on innovation. The deal does not mean layoffs or closing of factories. As a result, the share price of Premia Foods, a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ OMX Tallinn stock exchange, went up by 11.29 per cent yesterday.
(Äripäev, page 4-6, October 7, 2014)
New shale oil refinery will bring € 14 million in tax revenue. Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) opened its second factory Petroter II yesterday that will employ up to 400 people and bring to state € 14 million in tax revenue. The factory in Kohtla-Järve was opened by Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas who said that thanks to VKG, Estonia is one step closer to its own diesel production, which is important for its energy security. Rõivas also emphasised that VKG plays a major role as an employer in Ida-Viru County.
(Äripäev, pages 6-7, October 8, 2014)
Estonia’s e-residency project is already successful with the biggest interest from the USA, Finland and Canada. The Estonian e-residency project that will be launched as of December will allow foreigners to have access to Estonian e-solutions. The Economy Ministry undersecretary Taavi Kotka was glad that the e-residency testing period’s first 24 hours brought Estonia more than 5600 interested people of whom 1980 were from the USA. This testing period gives interested parties the necessary information on how to become an Estonian e-resident once the project is officially launched. The final list of e-services to be provided to the e-residents has not been decided yet, but the biggest benefit of the status will be for entrepreneurs, workers or even students who have some link to Estonia. Yesterday US channel PBS also reported that Estonia is the first country in the world to provide e-residency.
(Äripäev, page 9, October 8, 2014; Eesti Päevaleht, page 5, October 10, 2014)
Estonia’s best IT and telecom firms in 2013. Most successful IT and computer firms in 2013 were Guardtime and Codeborne, while the best telecommunication firms were Meratel and Cybernetica. The creator of Estonian Internet voting system and the X-road data exchange framework, Cybernetica, was able to double its sales revenue and increase company’s profit by 1113 per cent from last year’s € 77,000 to € 934,000. It was according to Cybernetica CEO Oliver Väärtnõu thanks to the company selling its Sea Surveillance Systems to Estonia and Indonesia as well as its e-government mobile-ID solution to Azerbaijan.
(Äripäev, IT TOP extra, pages 4-5; 10-11, October 15, 2014)
State has invested about € 20 million in start-ups. Over the years state has supported start-ups with subsidies and investments via Enterprise Estonia and the Development Fund. The biggest receiver of state support with € 3.8 million has been company Massi Miliano OÜ that develops a virtual fitting room Fits.me.
(Äripäev, pages 6-7, October 20, 2014)
Bank of Estonia: companies’ loan burden in the II quarter of 2014 was annually 3.3 per cent larger. Compared with other EU countries, the debt burden of Estonian corporate sector is lower than the EU average. The financial assets and incomes of households continue to increase quicker than the loan obligations with annual 7 per cent increase.
(Äripäev, page 6, October 20, 2014)
Statistics Estonia: producer price index fell annually by - 2.0 per cent. Compared to September 2013, the producer price index was more than average influenced by a decrease in prices in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply and in the manufacture of fuel oils and electronic equipment, but also by an increase in prices in mining.
(Äripäev, page 6, October 21, 2014)
Rail Baltic’s route was decided in Estonia. Company Hendrikson &KO that prepared the analysis of route options for Estonia said there were no problem-free routes. Finally the company decided to support the track that allows the quickest connection and has the smallest impact on both nature and human lives. The route in Estonia will be 211.4 km long and cost about € 1.14 billion of which EU will cover 57 per cent.
(Postimees, page 3, October 24, 2014)
Tallinn will get about a dozen new office buildings. As a result of additional 70,000 m2 of office space, the renters will have an upper hand in the rental negotiations. Among other places, the new office buildings are planned in Technopolis area, on Narva road and on Pärnu road in Tallinn.
(Äripäev, pages 4-5, October 27, 2014)
25 of 130 banks failed the European Central Bank’s (ECB) stress test. In Estonia the ECB tested Swedbank, SEB and DNB Nord that fulfilled all demands with much better results than the required minimum. The biggest number of problematic banks was in Italy.
(Äripäev, pages 8-9, October 27, 2014)
Estonian start-up, mobile payment firm Fortumo, expands in Asia. Fortumo opens its office in Singapore. Board member Gerri Kodres said that mobile payments are a growing trend in Southeast-Asia and still very few people have a credit card, thus the area is very important for them. In Asia Fortumo mobile payments are available in 12 countries, including South Korea, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. Fortumo is the only Western company whose mobile payment system works also in China. In total it is possible to make mobile payments in 81 countries via Fortumo. Its clients include Microsoft, Facebook, Rovio and Electronic Arts. Fortumo’s turnover in 2013 was € 19 million.
(Äripäev, page 15, October 31, 2014)