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invest in estonia

Estonian economy

Estonia's open and stable economy is characterized by adaptability and innovation. With conservative budget policy, flat-rate income taxation, extensive freedom for foreigners to own land, and 100% profit repatriation, Estonia is one of the most business-friendly countries not only in Eastern and Central Europe but in the whole world.

  • 1.3 M population
  • 45,339 sq km
  • #1 in OECD tax competitiveness index

Economy overview

#1globally in tax competitiveness

Since regaining its independence, Estonia has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. Quick reforms, westernisation of the economy, innovation, and openness to foreign capital have attracted numerous international companies to Estonia – Ericsson, ABB, Kuehne+Nagel, Stora Enso, Symantec, Stoneridge, to name a few. Skype is a good example of Estonian first-class innovation – complete research and development done in Tallinn with the support of foreign capital.

Positions in various indices:

  • #1 – OECD Tax Competitiveness Index 2020
  • #1 – Entrepreneurial Activity, World Economic Forum 2017
  • #1 – Digital Economy and Society Index, European Commission 2020
  • #2 – Freedom on the Net, Freedom House 2020
  • #10 – Index of Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation 2020
  • #18 – Ease of Doing Business, The World Bank 2020

Estonia has some of the highest international credit ratings in the region:

  • Standard & Poor’s: AA-
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Fitch IBCA: A+

The Estonian Government demonstrates flexible and needs-based legislation with priority on the facilitation of entrepreneurship. This has resulted in a simple, transparent, and nimble business environment that is one of the key drivers of foreign direct investment in Estonia.

Structure of economy

8%of GDP - information and communication

IT plays a central role in life in Estonia because people trust the IT solutions our companies create and are eager to use them to make everyday life easier. Our ambitious startup community dares to create innovative solutions that change the world including services as different as Mobile Parking and self-driven delivery robots. The common denominator for Estonian IT companies is their creativity and the ability to ignore the concept of the impossible.

Estonia combines elements of both the old and new economy – while the success of the technology sector has made the startup scene blossom, the country is also moving up in the value chain in sectors such as forestry and oil shale.

16%of GDP - manyfacturing

Round 51% of the country is covered by forest and Estonia has become the largest exporter of wooden houses in Europe, building the tallest timber buildings in the world.

In the oil shale sector, our talented engineers have mastered the energy extraction from oil shale and are now exporting the technology across the world.

Take a look at the business opportunities and what the key sectors have to offer in the opportunities section of our website.

Foreign direct investment

Estonia is among the leading countries in Central and Eastern Europe regarding foreign direct investments per capita.

The country is highly developed in the FDI-attractive fields of IT, biotechnologies, and green industries. A balanced budget, a free trade regime, a fully convertible currency, a competitive banking sector, and an investment-favorable environment have all contributed to the success of the country.

34%of FDI - financial and insurance

FDI by field of activity, share in total (2019):
34% financial and insurance activities
18% real estate activities
12% manufacturing
11% wholesale and retail trade
5% professional, scientific and technical activities
2% administrative and support services

Origin of FDI (2019):
24% Swedish companies
24% Finnish companies
6% Dutch companies
5% Luxembourgian companies
4% Lithuanian companies
3% Latvian companies

Estonian economy

These websites can be useful when doing research on Estonian economy:

Doing business in Estonia

News & events

Need more information?

Need more information?

What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

Request e-consulting