Government and business meet to discuss coronavirus mitigation measures

Government meeting table (picture is illustrative).
Government meeting table (picture is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) met with representatives of business organizations on Monday to talk over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the government's possible mitigation measures.

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE), Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Kaimar Karu, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center), Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) and Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) also attended the meeting.

"In order to support the economy and entrepreneurship, it is important for the government to develop opportunities and concrete measures to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on our working populace, and businesses, as soon as possible," said Ratas, according to a government press release.

Business representatives preset felt that protecting public health as well as financial security, supporting job retention and preventing a wave of bankruptcies and unemployment were key, it is reported.

Entrepreneurs also expressed a desire for a single governmental point of contact.

The government will also use the feedback from business organizations and professional associations to map the most critical areas.

Support measures planned by the state are being developed in cooperation with the KredEx Foundation, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) and the Tax and Customs Board (MTA).

Food supplies

According to the Estonian Food Association (Toiduliit), domestic food producers and food industries are currently able to ensure the supply of food in Estonia for at least 1-2 months. Sufficient supplies are also available in storage warehouses and government reserves. Thus, there is no reason to fear for food shortages or to stockpile excess food supplies, the body said.

Present at the meeting from the private sector were Mait Palts, Director General of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce (Eesti Kaubandus-Tööstuskoda), Arto Aas, Head of the Estonian Confederation of Employers (Eesti Tööandjate Keskliit), Mariann Lugus from the Estonian Association of Tourism Enterprises (Eesti Turismifirmade Liit), Nele Peil, Director of the Estonian Traders' Association (Eesti Kaupmeeste Liit), Sirje Potissepp, director of Estonian Food Industry Association, Heiki Rits, President of Estonian Association of SMEs (EVEA) and Peter Roose, chairman of the board of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association (EHRL).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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