Minister Calls for More Competitive Defense Industry
In an opening speech at an annual defense industry conference in Tallinn, Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that more defense spending should be channeled into Estonian companies.
"Due to the specifics of acquired equipment and capacity of the Estonian industry, a notable part of [government] investments are currently going to foreign suppliers. Investments make up a third of the defense budget," Reinsalu said.
Reinsalu said the private defense sector needs to be bolstered, an aim that has been furthered by increasing development subsidies in recent years. He said the government's defense budget is expected to rise to 450 million euros by 2022.
"The goal of the defense industry policy is to create in Estonia a defense industry that is internationally competitive, export-oriented and a trustworthy partner for the state in times of peace, crisis and war," Reinsalu said.
The annual conference focuses on future prospects of the industry, as well as opportunities for Estonian companies in NATO and European agencies.