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East Estonia

Jump right into Eastern Estonia - low manufacturing setup costs, highly-developed infrastructure and transportation system reveal substantial opportunities for prosperous investments in the region.

  • 4 counties
  • 11% of national GDP
  • 16 towns

Overview

East Estonia consists of four very distinct counties: Ida-Viru, Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva, and Järva. The total area of this region is around 12,000 sq km, and the population in 2023 was about 250,000. East Estonia is an industry-orientated area with plenty of space available near logistical and natural resources. The timber industry, the manufacture of building materials, energy and the metal industry have an essential role to play in the region’s economy.

Low setup costs, great opportunities for nearshoring

The region is characterized by low manufacturing setup costs, the presence of supporting industries, highly-developed infrastructure, and a smooth transportation system with inland transport, rail connections, and ports. It is an excellent logistical location with substantial opportunities for further efficient investments.

Eastern Estonia is a great location for European enterprises looking for a nearshoring relationship to bring manufacturing closer to their customers and make the supply chain more predictable and transparent.

Ida-Viru County

Ida-Viru County is located in the northeastern part of Estonia. The region has a strong vision to lead the green transition and sustainability in Estonia. The region is experienced in metallurgy, chemical, and energy industries, which have relied on fossil fuels in the past. However, during the recent decade and in the future, it has a firm goal to shift the target from fossil fuels to be the leader in renewable energy and economic diversification.

The region has a long history of industrial development – the Kreenholm textile factory was opened in 1856. At one point, the company’s cotton spinning and manufacturing mills were the largest in the world.

The county’s capital is the town of Jõhvi; nevertheless, Narva is the largest town in the county in terms of population and, at the same time, the third-largest city in Estonia after Tallinn and Tartu.

Narva is Estonia’s third-largest city.

Extensive support opportunities for climate neutrality and value chain development

Striving for climate neutrality can improve Estonia´s energy security, make Ida-Viru County’s economy more sustainable, encourage new regional investments, and increase companies’ competitiveness.

Estonia’s Just Transition Fund (JTF) plan focuses on two strands, “Economy and labor” with €273 million and “Environment and social inclusion” with €66.74 million of triggering measures.

The Just Transition Fund by the European Commission has allocated €354M to Ida-Viru County, from which Neo Performance Materials received the first-ever grant (up to €18,7M) for a planned sintered rare earth magnet manufacturing plant in Estonia. The Canadian company has another strategic company – NPM Silmet OÜ – as its subsidiary in the same region.

Schools and academia

There are two university colleges, Tartu University Narva College and TalTech Virumaa College in Kohtla-Järve; and two major institutions of vocational education in the region. In 2021, several well-known entrepreneurs in Estonia opened a coding school in Jõhvi. The school helps to reduce the growing demand for software developers in Estonia while making the eastern region a desirable place to study and offering more opportunities for cooperation with academia.

Key sectors and success stories

Possibilities for cooperation

Ida-Viru Investment Agency Foundation (IVIA) is a development organisation created by the public sector that is developing five industrial and business parks in Ida-Viru county, the property owner with supporting infrastructure. IVIA’s parks include the Baltic Chemical Park, which features the Plug & Play concept for chemical production. IVIA aims to attract and support new industrial and logistic companies and create new workplaces. Modern industrial parks, grants available – YouTube

The main port in the region – Port of Sillamäe – is located in the North-East of Estonia, 25 km from the border between the European Union and Russia and is open and navigable all year round. The most widely used option for cooperation is to transport all types of export, import or transit cargoes through the port, using the services of operating terminals and a railway station. Another option is to set up a factory in the industrial park located in the port for cargo processing (terminal, distribution center, etc.), development of on-site production (plant), or provision of services related to activities of the port and/or its partners.

The town of Sillamäe is located next to the region’s largest port.

Lääne-Viru County

Lääne-Viru is situated in Northern Estonia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. The capital of the county is Rakvere – a town of 15 000 people. The economy of Lääne-Viru is characterized by strong brands.

The largest enterprises of Lääne-Viru county operate in the Food and Timber industries, furniture, metals and building materials production. In addition to the county capital and regional business hub Rakvere, other major entrepreneurial regions include the cities of Kunda and Tapa, where several important industries can be found. Industry in these regional centers is supported by Port of Kunda and Tapa Army Base. Large infrastructure projects have a significant impact on the development of industry in the region – especially the Port of Kunda and the development of shipping routes there.

Rakvere, the capital of Lääne-Viru county features a medieval castle.

Rakvere, an administrative center of the county is constantly contributing to the economic and cultural development of the region. In the summer of 2020 a new open-air entertainment center with 4,200 seats, spreading on almost 7 hectares and including an amphitheatre, was completed and opened to the public. The unique center can be used for various cultural events, concerts, and leisure purposes and will attract both Estonians and visitors from all over the world.

Key sectors and success stories

Jõgeva County

Jõgeva County is situated in the Eastern part of the country, the county center being the town of Jõgeva. The region is home to large fields and forests, hence the key industries: Food and Timber. Most of Jõgeva’s businesses are SMEs, scattered all over the county. Although traditionally an agricultural region with efficient value chains, the strong tourism sector is also emerging in the area (leisure and sports centers, sporting and cultural events).

Jõgeva, located in a valley with flat slopes, is known as the cold capital of Estonia. On 17 January 1940, the temperature of 43.5 degrees below zero was measured at the Jõgeva weather station, which marks the Estonian frost record.

Jõgeva county is the location of the Estonian Crop Research Institute, which continues the long-established traditions of field crop breeding and agrotechnical research on the environmental-friendly and effective agrotechnology of field crops, but also on plant protection, plant health and fertilization.

Key sectors and success stories

Järva County

In geographical terms, Järva county is situated in the middle of Estonia with two major national highways crossing each other at Mäo – excellent accessibility to all directions of Estonia. There are several industrial parks along these highways. The center of the county is the town of Paide.

Järva county has a large amount of grain and feed fields, and thick forests. The county is known for enterprises engaged in Timber processing and engineering, and timber companies here are prone to innovation and hi-tech/clean-tech production. Thanks to fertile soils, there are also several agricultural enterprises and Food industries in the region. The manufacture of building materials and the metal industry are well-developed as well.

A bog in Järva county. The county is a paradise for nature-lovers.

Järva County is located in the very heart of Estonia, so it is no wonder that even the crossroads of Estonian medieval roads is located here. This meaningful place is also home to the Estonian Bicycle Museum in Väätsa with one of the largest bicycle collections in Northern Europe.

Key sectors and success stories

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East Estonia

The map of East Estonia shows major strategic assets such as transportation hubs, industrial parks and educational institutions of the region. To go into more detail, these websites can be useful when interested in East Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

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