Japanese store chain advertises Estonian JOIK as Estonian handicraft. Eva-Maria Õunapuu founded the natural cosmetics company in 2006, but the company started actively exporting since last May. In June also a new export destination, Japan, was added to their list. The initiative came from Plaza chain and now the company sells JOIK products in 25 of its 70 stores. JOIK was discovered in Japan thanks to model Anni Jürgenson who wrote about JOIK in her blog. JOIK export manager Kadri Mäesalu said that currently Estonia is very popular in Japan and various articles are published about it. JOIK has 12 employees. Its turnover in 2012 was € 657,772 and profit € 275,895.
(Postimees, page 7, August 10, 2013)
Estonians moving into enterprise in Finland. The number of companies founded by Estonians has nearly doubled in Finland over recent years. Information from the Finnish statistics board suggests 700 new companies have been founded by Estonians over the past year, constituting a 60 per cent increase over three years. Estonians now make for the fastest growing immigrant group in terms of new businesses in Finland. Estonians tend to favour small companies of 1-4 employees, while more popular fields of activity include construction, cleaning and beauty services.
(Postimees, page 3, August 12, 2013)
Asian tourists help increase tourist figures in Estonia. In June more tourists visited Estonia than last year with 4 per cent growth. Statistics Estonia reported that 313,000 tourists of whom two-thirds were foreigners used the services of accommodation establishments. 44 per cent of foreign tourists were from Finland, 10 per cent from Russia, 9 per cent from Germany and 5 per cent from Latvia. In regards to tourists from Asia, there was a 60 per cent increase compared with last year results.
(Äripäev, page 7, August 12, 2013)
Registered unemployment continued to decrease in July. The number of registered unemployed in Estonia continued decreasing for the fifth consecutive month in July and at the end of the month 34,767 people or 5.3 per cent of the workforce from age 16 to retirement age were officially registered as out of work, data of the Unemployment Insurance Fund show.
(Postimees, page 8, August 13, 2013)
Neighbours’ weakness threatens Estonian economy. In the first six months of 2013, export from Estonia was 12 per cent higher than in the same period of the previous year. However, bad economic results from Sweden, Finland and Russia might end this flow of positive news. Tiit Elenurm from Estonian Business School says that in order to succeed, Estonia needs to look further from neighbouring countries, which are currently Estonian main trade partners. Elenurm referred to successful companies like construction material producer Krimelte that exports even to Japan, Brazil and New Zealand.
(Eesti Päevaleht, pages 2-3/ Ärileht, page 2, August 14, 2013)
Unemployment rate in Estonia in the second quarter was 8.1 per cent of working age population. European figure was 11 per cent. (Postimees, page 7, August 15, 2013, Eurostat)
Inspired by the work of NASA, Click & Grow's CEO, Mr. Mattias Lepp has developed an automatic plant growing system that gives plant roots an optimal amount of water, oxygen and nutrients at all times. The company sold 90,000 units last year.
(Äripäev, pages 4-7, August 16, 2013, clickandgrow.com)
Estonian venture company Fabulonia has invented a system that allows owners of 3D print files to send documents securely. Through the system, permission can be granted to selected 3D-printers to print out objects protected by copyright. The Finnish author of the idea decided to found the company in Estonia because of the lower tax burden, less bureaucracy and cheaper development costs. Although the company has not sold the product yet, it is negotiating with several companies in Europe and the US.
(Postimees, page 6, August 19, 2013)
Last year clothing producers exited economic crisis. Many Estonian clothing companies still experienced some effects of the economic crisis even last year, but their economic results are finally improving. The best economic results were in case of children’s clothing company Lenne and outer garment producer PVMP-Ex. Also Baltika, which has experienced difficulties for long, finally earned profit with € 0.8 million. Estonian clothing industry exported for € 135 million in 2012 with main export destinations being Finland, Sweden and Russia.
(Äripäev, pages 4-5, August 22, 2013)
Estonian scientists cloned “a golden calf”. The scientists of the Estonian University of Life Sciences Veterinary Medicine and Animal Breeding Institute have managed to clone a transgenic calf. Transgenic cows are genetically modified clones that have a gene or genes inserted into their DNA that produce certain hormones, in this case insulin, that can be extracted from the cow's milk. Transgenic cows make it possible to produce insulin much more cheaply than through chemical synthesis. Head of the cellular biology chair of the University of Tartu Toivo Maimets said that while it has been done before, the achievement no doubt means Estonian geneticists are among the very best in the world. The official presentation of the calf will take place next week.
(Eesti Päevaleht, pages 2-3, August 28, 2013)
Responsive Robotic Materialisations working group will test new future materials in Tallinn. Students of three universities, i.e. Innsbruck University, Estonian Academy of Arts and Tallinn University of Technology mechatronics institute study and discuss about new future materials that can for instance detect person’s moods, emotions or conditions with sensors and cameras. Also experiments are done with construction material by mixing construction foam and plaster together with sensors in order to create new shapes and materials for interior design.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 6, August 28, 2013)
Moody's has affirmed the sovereign rating of Estonia at the current high level of A1.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 10, August 29, 2013)
( Standard & Poor's: AA-/A-1+, Fitch: A+)
Estonian food production industry’s export increased 11 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011. Dairy production made up 27 per cent of the export and Finland was the main export destination.
(Postimees, page 7, August 30, 2013)
“Father of mobile ringtones” Ralph Simon praises the clever ideas of Estonian programmers. Simon says that a “new Skype” could come from mobile payment field. Simon is in Estonia to help elect the best international e-service as a member of World Summit Award panel. The latter will select among 460 candidates the world’s best e-service. Estonia’s candidate is a company called Transferwise, which has made international currency payments much cheaper than doing it via banks.
(Eesti Päevaleht, pages 2-3, August 30, 2013)
Skype’s founders invest in competition. One of Skype’s founders Jaan Tallinn invested € 100,000 in a new communication application Fleep. In addition to Tallinn, also another Skype founding member Priit Kasesalu has invested in Fleep. The solution was created to make work communication more efficient because Skype did not allow searching through messages, add non-users, messages were not compatible with all sorts of equipment and there was no offline-regime. Fleep is made up of four former Skype engineers Asko Oja, Henn Ruukel, Erik Laansoo and Marko Kreen and it will soon have 10,000 users. Fleep is still in its testing version and should be ready by spring 2014.
(Äripäev, page 3, September 2, 2013)
Estonia’s position in World Economic Forum’s competitiveness ranking improved. Estonia improved its position from 34th position to 32nd. This is the highest ranking among East-European countries. The report mentions Estonia’s good education system, well-functioning and developed finance and goods market, and constant attempts to increase technological capability. Also Estonia stands out with flexible labour market rules, while it lacks skilled labour force and in regards to keeping its talents, Estonia ranks only 96th among 148 countries.
(Äripäev, page 10, September 5, 2013)
Woodhouse producers have a big increase in orders. Companies hire new workers to keep up with the biggest export market Norway’s and Sweden’s demand. In addition to nearby countries, houses are also exported to Japan, Korea, Brazil and elsewhere.
(Eesti Päevaleht, page 10, September 6, 2013)