The number of projects created with support from foreign direct investment grew by 19 percent last year, compared with 7 percent in Lithuania and 50 percent in Latvia, according to the 2013 European Attractiveness Survey study by Ernst & Young.
In 2012, Estonia improved its position to become the 25th most attractive country for FDI in Europe, up from 29th in 2011. In terms of jobs created as a result of FDI, it rose from 30th to 29th.
Last year, FDI led to the creation of 1,717 jobs in Lithuania, 443 in Estonia and 290 in Latvia, the study found. E&Y managing consultant Taavi Pahapill noted that Estonia has a smaller population than the other Baltic countries and that this factor somewhat skews the figures.
In Estonia, the lion's share of these jobs - 183 - were in software development, whereas in Lithuania interest was greatest in finance and technology and in Latvia in finance and transport.
"Interestingly, investors clearly preferred Latvia and Lithuania for shared service centers," Pahapill said, adding that this led to the creation of hundreds of jobs in Latvia and Lithuania but no jobs in Estonia.
"It is likely that the neighboring countries are better at advertising themselves in this area,” Pahapill said.
"This could be food for thought for Estonia - in what areas can we exceed our neighbors in the future?”