West Estonia includes four distinctive counties: Pärnu and Lääne on the mainland, and island counties Saare and Hiiu. The total area of this region is around 11,200 sq km, and the population in 2023 was around 148,000.
Economic activity has been successful in conventional fields – forestry, wood processing, agriculture, (eco)food industry and tourism- greatly influenced the region’s prosperity. Beautiful and pure nature and a secure environment make West Estonia a desired place for people to work, live and rest in.
West Estonia has a remarkable bioeconomy potential and many business opportunities for internationalisation and technology development. The region is economically balanced with a comprehensive range of industries. Furthermore, it has easy access to the surrounding markets via sea, road, air and rail transportation. Regular flights from Tallinn airport are served to Kuressaare and Kärdla, smaller airfields on Kihnu and Ruhnu islands have flights to Pärnu and Kuressaare regional airports.
For centuries, West Estonia has been a popular resort area. The interesting history and adventurous present day have something to offer for everyone’s liking, having received much praise and brought many successful international businesses to the region.
The key industrial sectors in the region are electronics, timber, food, metal, plastic, peat, and textiles. Several local agricultural undertakings are also among the most profitable ones in Estonia. Most farming enterprises are mixed farms with combinations of arable crops and animal husbandry (mostly cattle for meat production), or focus only on crops.
Recreation services and the tourism economy have long traditions and the region´s image as a rehabilitation area dates back to the middle of the 19th century. New blue economy (sustainable use of the marine environment) perspectives are small craft construction, aquaculture and offshore energy. The Small Craft Competence Centre (SCC) is active in scientific research, development projects, and gathering marine industry knowledge. Shipbuilding is the main activity for around a dozen companies in Saaremaa and in addition, several companies are involved in servicing shipbuilding companies.
The average planned capacity per wind park is between 700 and 1,300 MW, with a distance of at least 12 km from the coastline. West Estonia has the highest number of hours of sunlight, needed for solar energy production, among Estonia’s regions.
West Estonia encompasses 40% of the forest resources of Estonia. The companies in the timber sector have a major presence according to their number of employees as well as the volume of industrial output. Companies have gradually moved from producing saw material to manufacturing final products: plywood, veneer, fibreboard, windows and doors, furniture, log houses, and prefabricated houses.
Fishing has a long history in the region. Fish are processed, and the products are exported all across Europe.
West Estonia provides a developed ecosystem for many different activities, including a network of developed industrial areas and logistics facilities. The region’s institutions of higher education are ready for cooperation with businesses.
The map of West 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 West Estonia:
You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific 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.