7% of Estonian Firms Are Foreign Owned ({{commentsTotal}})

According to Statistics Estonia, foriegn capital last year one in 14 firms were controlled by foreign capital, but the impact on jobs was many times greater.


There were close to 108,900 going concerns in Estonia last year, a number that included both companies and self-employed entrepreneurs, and 45,800 of them were based in Tallinn, the agency said on its blog this week. 

Companies that were at least 50 percent owned by foreign investors accounted for 7 percent of the total countrywide. The percentage was highest in Tallinn - 12 percent - while the share of foreign-owned companies was low elsewhere - around 1-4 percent.

Foreign investors originated mainly from neighboring countries - Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Russia. The US and Germany came next.

Foreign capital had a greater impact on employment, as the foreign investments were disproportionately in labor-intensive areas such as industry.

One in ten industrial companies were under foreign control, but that amounted to one-half of the Estonian workforce in the industry.

Countrywide, one in four people employed in the business sector works for a foreign-owned company, and as many as one in three in Harju County, the capital region.

The share was also high in Valga County and Pärnu County, due to large light industry companies in textile and furniture manufacturing.

The most important investors in regards to providing jobs were, in descending order, from Finland, Sweden, the US, the UK, Germany, Norway and Denmark.