Vettel, a subsidiary of Estonia's listed food group PRFoods which operates on Saaremaa Island, is planning to increase the volumes of fish to be sold to Japan, the regional newspaper Saarte Haal reports. Last week customers from Japan visited the company and agreed on sales volumes for next year. According to Indrek Kasela, CEO of PRFoods, Vettel is planning to sell products unders its own trademark in Japan. (BNS, October 10, 2016)

Delegation of the Heat Pump and Thermal Storage Technology Center of Japan visited Estonia in order to get acquainted with the current situation regarding heat pumps. Information obtained from Estonia will be used for product development of Panasonic, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. (Äripäev, page 2, October 17, 2016)
The Taxify ride-hailing platform has announced a new program that will allow drivers to rent cars in Taxify colors to drive on the company's platform. Under the pilot project 10 brand new Toyota Corollas will be put on the streets of Tallinn. Taxify is a ride-hailing mobile app that works in Estonia in Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu, Kuressaare, Viljandi and Rakvere, with altogether more than 2,400 cars driving on the platform. Taxify operates in 13 countries worldwide and is planning to launch in four more countries in the next few months. (BNS, October 18, 2016)
Estonian defense contractor Threod Systems has won internal security tenders in Greece, Cyprus and Kazakhstan, and plans to start offering its products in Ukraine and Indonesia in the future, the Eesti Paevaleht daily reports. Unmanned aerial vehicles of Threod Systems will mainly be used by the three countries' rescue services. The company sold the first drones to its Greek partner last year but will deliver a larger batch of UAVs for Greek firefighters next week, CEO Villiko Nurmoja told the paper. The Cypriot contract is yet to be signed, but Kazakhstan is initially purchasing two multiple rotor drones and if the goods are found suitable a total of 15 drones will be bought for the police and border guard. (BNS, October 21, 2016)
Estonia reached into the first dozen in the World Bank rankings. The fresh World Bank ranking “Doing Business” ranks the business environment of Estonia 12th among 190 economies of the world. According to the rankings, New Zealand has the best business environment, followed by Singapore, Denmark and Hong Kong. Estonia is the 5th European country in that list. (Postimees, page 10, October 26, 2016)
E-residents will be able to open a bank account more easily. Finance Minister Sven Sester signed a regulation that would let e-residents to open bank accounts without physically going to a bank office. According to Finance Ministry, the regulation will establish that the identification through IT means would be the same as physical means. It means that in order to identify and control the identity, it’s possible to use a video bridge enabling to check a person's facial features against the photo on the ID and in the database of the Police and Border Guard Board. However, banks still have the choice to demand the physical presence of the client – it’s up to service providers if they want to use IT means. The regulation will come in force on October 31. (Äripäev, page 7, October 26, 2016)
Toyota is not the most selling new car anymore. 1874 new cars were sold in Estonia in October, which is 0.4% more than last year. The most successful car company in October was Skoda that sold 251 cars. Skoda was followed by Toyota (244) and Renault (178). October was the most successful models of the Škoda Octavia sold 115 cars and followed the Toyota Avensis and the Renault Megane, 60 and 59 by car. Electric cars were bought in October for two.  Exports went to 88 cars. October turned out to be the most popular badged Citroen, which sold for 62, followed by Peugeot and Volkswagen commercial vehicles by 53 and 43. Segment vehicles in October were the most successful Volvo and Scania, which were sold as 30 and 23. (Postimees, page 10, November 4, 2016)
Smart-ID application will substitute Mobiil-ID. Certification Centre yesterday introduced the new e-identifying solution Smart-ID. Essentially, the new solution is like Mobiil-ID, but it’s possible to use Smart-ID without changing a SIM card, and it won’t be necessary to pay mobile operators for the service anymore. Certification Centre plans to come out with the solution in the beginning of the next year in all Baltic States at once. (Päevaleht, page 4, November 4, 2016)
Nordica breaks into profit for first time in September. CEO of Estonian aviation company Nordica Jaan Tamm told Päevaleht: "I'll tell you a little secret: preliminary figures show that we had a running profit for the first time in September, sooner than we dared to expect." (Päevaleht, page 8, November 4, 2016)
Estonian eco-cosmetics are striving towards Asia. Singaporean investor Serena Kao believes that Estonian natural cosmetics are what Singapore needs. Kao plans to come out with Estonian products in Singapore in February. One of the owners of Puhas Eesti Loodus OÜ Piret Laasik said: “Asian market has always been the place where we have wanted to go.” Puhas Eesti Loodus OÜ also started to operate in Hong Kong in August. Shareholder of Perfect Cosmetics OÜ Helen Hirv said: “We have done market research in Asia, and have found that especially the niche stores are places where our products could be on the shelves.” Nurme OÜ gets a fifth of its turnover from Finland, and its shareholder Luule Tiits believes that Singapore has the potential of giving them a similar proportion of turnover. (Postimees, page 10, November 7, 2016)
The cooperation between Nordica and LOT dangers close neighbors the most. Nordica and Polish LOT hope to reorganize the flight network of Eastern and Central Europe, to make Warsaw a hub. Helsinki and Riga, and the airlines that use these airports as hubs, will lose the most from it. The main thing that LOT wins from this deal is that it makes Warsaw’s flight schedule busier. In recent years, LOT has also done a good job with flights heading outside of Europe. CEO of LOT Rafal Milczarski said: “Our aim is to become the primary airline that Eastern and Central European passengers use for long distance flights. This spring we started with flights to Tokyo and Seoul. The occupancy rate of these flights is very good.”(Postimees, page 8, November 8, 2016)
Estonian maker of handmade chocolate Chocolala started exporting to Japan and Sweden. Kristi Lehtis, founder and manager of Chocolala, confirmed that the company recently sent the first batch of chocolate bars consisting of about a couple of hundred bars to Japan. In addition to Japan, Chocolala has begun selling its products on the Swedish market. The amounts sold in Sweden are bigger and the range of products sent to that country includes boxes of chocolate, chocolate bars, shapes of chocolate, reindeer lichen with chocolate and other products. Chocolala, which went into business in 2014, has a brand store and a workshop in the Old City of Tallinn and it also supplies its products to retailers. (BNS, November 11.2016)
Estonia on top of the Freedom House internet freedom ranking. The fresh Freedom on the Net 2016 report of Freedom House ranks Estonia and Iceland as the countries with the freest internet. Estonia and Iceland ranked first among the 65 countries assessed with a score of 6 out of 100. There are no obstacles to internet access in Estonia, while limits on content and violations of user rights gave 3 minus points each. (Postimees, page 3, November 15, 2016)
Investors put a record amount of money into Estonian start-ups last year. According to a research by Contriber, a total of 97.8 million euros were put into 30 Estonian startups in 2015. The amount was 18.5 million euros in 2010.  A big part of the 97.8 million euros went to Trasferwise (48 million euros). Most of the investors that have put money into Estonian startups are local investors. (Päevaleht, page 19, November 15, 2016)
Estonia and Finland will establish a nonprofit to develop common X-Road. Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Kristen Michal is about to present a draft order to the government on Thursday by which a new nonprofit, called Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions, will be established to jointly develop the X-Road environment that allows the various e-services databases to link up and operate in harmony. The Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) and the Finnish Population Register Center at the end of September signed an agreement to connect the Estonian data exchange layer X-Road and its Finnish analogue Palveluvayla by next April at the latest. (Postimees, page 3, November 17, 2016)
Estonian start-up Jobbatical received a million dollar investment. Australian venture capital fund Airtee invested million USD to Estonian start-up Jobbatical. According to co-founder of the company Karoli Hindrikus, Jobbatical plans to use the investment to expand to South-East Asian and Australian market. (Postimees, page 10, November 22, 2016)
Founder of Vitalfields: We are satisfied with the sale price. US major agriculture group Monsanto Climate Corporation is set to acquire Estonian farming business software developer Vitalfields. CEO of Vitalfields Martin Rand said that while he cannot disclose the volume of the transaction, it was satisfactory. Currently, the main growth markets for Vitalfields are German and Polish market. Rand said that the sale allows the company to concentrate on new markets, and that its goal is to conquer all major European agricultural markets, like France, Spain, United Kingdom. (Postimees, page 10, November 22, 2016)
SEB lowered the economic prognosis of Estonia. SEB bank lowered the GDP growth forecast on Estonia for 2016 by 0.4% to 1.3%. SEB expects the Estonian economy to grow 2.2% in 2017, and by 2.8% in 2018. (Postimees, page 10, November 23, 2016)
Nortal plans to export Estonian tax system. Nortal and Finance Ministry signed an agreement for Estonian public officials to help Nortal in implementing Estonian VAT collection system in countries near the Persian Gulf. Gulf Cooperation Council last year decided that Bahrein, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE will start collecting VAT. Now, AS Nortal plans to start exporting the Estonian tax collection experience to these countries, and also to build up the necessary IT infrastructure there. (Postimees, page 10, November 24, 2016)
The lack of employees increases average salary. Estonian average gross salary increased to 1119 euros in the third quarter, which means a 7.1% increase compared to the same period last year. However, it is expected that the growth will slow down in the next year. The average salary increased by more than 10% in administrative and support service activities, real estate activities, agriculture, and information and communications. (Päevaleht, page 9, November 25, 2016)
A TOP 100 of big changes. There were big changes in this year’s Äripäev TOP 100 rankings compared to last year. Eight out of ten most successful companies this year weren’t in the list last year. This year’s most successful company was Baltic Sea Bunkering OÜ (logistics), followed by Hekotek AS (woodworking technologies and facilities) and Olympic Entertainment Group AS (Casino). The only companies that stayed in top 10 of the rankings from last year were Antonio Trade OÜ (imports Mitsubishi and Fujitsu air conditioning systems) and Glamox HE AS (lighting solutions). (Äripäev, page 4, November 28, 2016)
Eesti Energia looking for builder of equipment to refine shale gas to gasoline. Estonia's state-owned energy company Eesti Energia is looking for a contractor to build the equipment needed for refining oil shale gas to gasoline. Eesti Energia has launched a tender inviting pre-qualified international companies to bid, the company announced. The equipment will be an addition to Eesti Energia's existing oil plants and it is expected to increase the group's liquid fuel production by 10 percent. Eesti Energia will make the final decision on whether or not to invest and announce the winner of the bid in the first half of 2017. If the decision is positive, the equipment will go into operation in 2019. (BNS, November 28, 2016)
Self-driving buses will start driving in Tallinn from July. At least two small self-driving buses will be put into service in Tallinn at the start of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the European Union next July with the aim of presenting Estonia as an innovation-oriented country. Government Office has announced a procurement to find such buses. (Päevaleht, page 4, November 29, 2016)
A robot brings food to the doorstep. Finnish company Wolt is testing food delivery with the robots of Starship Technologies in Tallinn during next months. The robot delivers food from restaurants within a radius of 1.5 kilometers, which means that it will take up to 30 minutes to deliver. During the pilot project, the robots will be accompanied by supervisors. (Äripäev, page 10, November 29, 2016)