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Estonia’s new PM Kallas: “Estonia has the strength to become a country larger than its borders”

The newly formed government of Estonia, led by prime minister Kaja Kallas (Estonian Reform Party), plans to make Estonia an attractive country for developing and testing various innovative solutions, seeks to launch supportive measures for startups and renders Estonia as an internationally attractive and competitive business environment.

The new government aims to speed up the many infrastructure projects that are already in the works: availability of fast fiber optic internet connection all across Estonia; implementation of the construction of the Helsinki–Tallinn tunnel; connecting major cities with four-lane motorways – to name a few.

If completed, the mentioned Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would be the world’s longest undersea railway tunnel. The length of the tunnel would be approximately 100 kilometres and according to current plans, it requires the construction of at least one artificial island.

“Estonia has the strength to become a country larger than its borders again, which is valued in terms of openness and innovative technology policy. We want to live in a forward-looking country that is respected both in Europe and around the world,” said Kallas in a statement provided to Invest Estonia.

According to the coalition agreement, Estonia is open to experts and skilled workers who are sharing Estonian values.

To achieve the set goals Kallas’s cabinet will update the business diplomacy strategy and ensure a more coordinated representation of Estonia’s economic interests abroad. Estonia is considered to be a country with the lowest level of bureaucracy in the world – 99% of banking is done online, 99% of public services are offered 24/7 online, 99% of doctors’ prescriptions are digital, etc. The new government plans to decrease bureaucracy even more and simplify legislation to speed up the administrative procedures concerning entrepreneurship.

PM Kallas sees possibilities in existing companies expanding their activities in Estonia

At sunrise on Tuesday, January 26th, the newly formed Kaja Kallas government was appointed to office by president Kersti Kaljulaid. The oath of office was later taken at the parliament Riigikogu. Due to the pandemic one of the 15 new ministers, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Estonian Centre Party) signed the oath digitally – for the first time in the world.

While seeking a mandate from Riigikogu the previous day Kallas said that she sees the ongoing crisis as a fertiliser for the future, making the industry greener and making investments in the digital state.

In the eight chapters long agreement the partners have agreed they will support the continuation and supplementation of the e-Residency 2.0 action plan to develop a more convenient and secure e-Residency and will progressively cooperate with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organisations to develop the business environment.

Kallas’s cabinet will also support companies that can contribute to creating and implementing science-based and innovative technologies and need the support of the state in decreasing investment risks. A second look will be given to the financial system regulations to help prevent money laundering, investment scams, etc.

In addition, they plan to open direct connections, if possible, to destinations that are important to the Estonian people and economy, the connection between the mainland and islands will also be improved.

Even though the new coalition holds 59 seats in the 101-member Riigikogu they managed to secure 70 votes from the parliament. Only once has an incoming government secured the mandate with more votes than now – back in 1997 with 72 votes.

Although the prime minister Kallas has said that the coalition agreement is broad, it still mentions many issues that are a potential interest for foreign investors.

She sees the use of various European Union funds as essential for the continued success of Estonia but also states that the funds need to be used wisely.

“We must fight for free movement of people and goods. For investments to come to Estonia and for existing companies to see an opportunity to expand their activities here. We must restore Estonia’s good reputation as a business-friendly country,” Kallas added.

Minister Andres Sutt: “Estonia is open for business”

To accomplish the promises the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Estonian Reform Party) stated in a Facebook post his two major promises are to help the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic to survive and secure Estonia as an attractive investment region on the world map. Invest Estonia is a part of Enterprise Estonia, which is a governmental agency under the ministry that Sutt now runs, promoting foreign investments in Estonia and assisting international companies in finding business opportunities in Estonia.

Before stepping into politics in 2019 Sutt held various positions at The Bank of Estonia from 1992 to 1999. From 2001 to 2009 he was the Vice President of The Bank of Estonia. He has also lived and worked  in Washington D.C. as a senior adviser to the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in Luxembourg as the head of banking at the European Stability Mechanism.

In an interview for the business weekly Äripäev, Sutt jokingly said he would add Minister of Entrepreneurship to his title because a big part of his job is to be in close contact with entrepreneurs and business associations. On the foreign trade side, he aims to open Estonia’s doors to the world.

“My second priority for Estonia is to be on the world map as an attractive investment region, for both investors inside Estonia and foreign capital. To do this, we need a good business climate, efficient financial and capital markets and, of course, we need the best e-state in the world. If these three things work together, we can move forward in the long run,” Sutt said to Äripäev.

Minister Sutt added that under his leadership the ministry plans to for at least in some degree follow examples laid out in the USA, Luxembourg and Finland.

“Estonia is open for business, for investments and foreign talent is also welcomed in Estonia,” Sutt said.

If you are interested in investing in or starting a business in Estonia, the best way to get started is to use our free e-Consulting service.

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