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Top 5 most impactful business news from Estonia in 2021

Estonia’s booming startup ecosystem, growing green economy, the world’s best tax system and Estonia - for most of the year - being the only country in the world, having both, a female president and a female prime minister, were the highlights in 2021, based on what the almost a million users on Invest Estonia website chose to read.

We dug into the preferences of our almost 1M readers this year to understand what have been our most impactful news from 2021. Out of the 331 news items, events, case studies and other pieces of useful content for potential foreign investors, this was the top 5:

Estonia leads Europe in startups, unicorns and investments per capita

Estonian startup ecosystem shines all over Europe in terms of founding startups, growing billion-dollar worth tech companies, and raising money.

“With 5 times more startups per capita than the European average, it is safe to say that Estonia is the startup capital of Europe,” stated Eve Peeterson, Head of Startup Estonia. “Estonia is a perfect place for brave hearts, independent minds, and entrepreneurial souls. Tap into the game-changing opportunities and supportive environment to supercharge your business with us!” she encouraged potential investors and founders.


Estonia’s unicorn Wise went public on the London Stock Exchange

Estonia’s third unicorn Wise went public on the London Stock Exchange on July 7th, 2021. Valued at 7.95 billion pounds (9.4 billion EUR / 11 billion USD), Wise made the largest ever tech listing in London. For Estonian startup ecosystem, this is a significant step in terms of bringing experiences and investments back to Estonia. In several media outlets, the forthcoming impact of Wise initial public offering has been compared with the effect of Skype, Estonia’s first unicorn, that has enabled to build a whole generation of tech companies (influenced by Skype’s success, experiences and funds from it). After Skype, thousands of startups have been established in Estonia. But the question is, how many successful startups will be created after the Wise IPO. Even more than this far, we believe, so better be ready to find the success story to invest in, here!

Founders of Wise: Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann

Swedish battery manufacturer Nilar to build a plant in Estonia

But it isn’t just the startup sector that is expanding and booming, major investments are being made in the Estonian industry sector as well. Nilar, a Swedish environmentally friendly battery manufacturer will build a new battery plant in Estonia, employing up to 300 people. Estonia was chosen for Nilar’s expansion plans due to Estonia’s geographical and cultural closeness to Sweden and quick actions taken by the Estonian Investment Agency, according to the Chairman of the Board of Nilar International AB, Michael Obermayer. Invest Estonia is happy to contribute to the green transition with real actions, not just words.


Estonia has the most competitive tax system in the world

Although, well known among foreign investors in Estonia, this might still be news for you: Estonia has the world’s best tax system: no corporate income tax, no capital tax, no property transfer taxes.

And it happens to be something that doesn’t change. For the eighth year in a row, in 2021, Estonia has the best tax code in the world, according to the Tax Competitiveness Index 2021 report.


Estonia was the only country in the world with a female president and female prime minister

For most of this year, Estonia was the only country in the world with a female president (Kersti Kaljulaid) and female prime minister (Kaja Kallas) at the helm. The news about female-led Estonia brought our country to the limelight in social networks and the media. Since October 11, Estonia has the new elected president Alar Karis (a male president, for a change). However, good news for a potential investor is that Estonian government led by prime minister Kaja Kallas sees attracting FDI as one of its priorities.


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• Top investment news from 2020
• Top investment news from 2019

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