Wooing Talents to Return to Estonia is Pointless, Says TransferWise Exec ({{commentsTotal}})

TransferWise executive and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus said that the state should do a rethink of its focus on getting talented Estonians to return home.

“I am an Estonian who has been living abroad for years and I think I am more useful to the Estonian nation living abroad,” Hinrikus told Eesti Päevaleht on Saturday.

The UK resident said the state should instead concentrate on making those Estonians who live outside more useful for the country.

“It is preposterous to limit life in the current world with state borders that were determined by wars hundreds of years ago,” Hinrikus said, “And if you look at the Estonian community abroad, they are all bigger patriots that those who live in the country.”

Transferwise, a P2P money transfer company, was founded by Hinrikus and fellow Estonian Kristo Käärmann in London, with an office also in Tallinn.

One example of the state incentivizing repatriation was the Bring Talent Home program patroned by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. From 2010 to 2012, it aimed to attract young talented Estonians back to Estonia from their jobs or studies abroad.