Ratas: Estonia should be welcoming for talented foreign workers

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas meets with startups.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas meets with startups. Source: Stenbock House.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and representatives of startups discussed foreign workers, how they should be welcome in Estonia and labor legislation on Monday.

Ratas (Center) said startups and the IT sector more broadly have enormous growth potential and a focus on offering high value-added products.

"As almost a quarter of the staff in this sector are foreigners, then from the perspective of our growth and competitiveness, it is important for Estonia to be a country where foreign talents want to come," the prime minister said. "Hopefully, under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and in cooperation with the representatives of the sector, we will find solutions on how to support startups."

In addition, the main economic indicators of the startup sector were presented at the meeting. Data from the Estonian Startup Database shows that 1,105 startups with a total of nearly 6,300 employees have been registered in Estonia.

The average wage in the sector is €2,508, which is 1.8 times higher than the Estonian average wage. Based on the forecasts, the combined turnover of startup companies will exceed €550 million this year, which is 40 percent more than last year. Almost €71.7 million will be paid in labour taxes. The annual growth of the sector is 30 percent on average.

Proposals to make employment legislation more flexible and introduce new forms of employment relations were also discussed.

Ratas said several worthy ideas were taken from the round-table. "Working and investing in Estonia must be as simple as possible, and the regulating legislation supportive and relevant," he said. "Certainly, the experiences and proposals of the representatives of the sector are an excellent starting point to ensure that the state could support our companies in the best possible way."

At the round-table meeting, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications presented existing and new initiatives on state investments in the development of venture capital markets. The next round-table meeting with startups will be held at the prime minister in spring of 2021.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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