The merger of state credit agency KredEx with Enterprise Estonia, also known as EAS, while formalized this year, will continue in 2023.
These include branding and the new organization's name. Enterprise Estonia was mostly focused on innovation, trade, foreign investment and the e-state.
Lauri Lugna, appointed last January to oversee the merged organization, said that: "One thing that has definitely brought us savings and continues to do so is moving to the one location in Tallinn. We had previously been situated in four different locations, but now since mid-November we have been in the one space in Ülemiste."
"Thanks to the move, we were able to save nearly 1,000 square meters of office space, which will also be reflected in lower administrative costs next year; I estimate that theses savings could come to at least a six-figure number," he went on.
The EAS/KredEx merger will be played out in combined IT and tech systems too, while 2023 will bring further developments to the new organizations culture and values aspects, Lugna said.
The merger brings together formerly separate customer bases as well, he added.
"There was no need to [continue] directing the customer from one institution to another; quite the reverse - we have trained our customer managers do that they will be able to offer companies more solutions, from the one location."
The combined organization has been working as one since earlier on this year, despite complications relating to the coronavirus and to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as economic slow-down, he said.
The previous Reform/Center coalition decided to merge KredEx and Enterprise Estonia/EAS in late April, as part of an overall reforming agenda relating to state bodies.
The merger was intended to improve research and development activity, innovation and entrepreneurship and to provide better value offers and more comprehensive and efficient services to businesses.
The process has cost €144,000 this year so far.
KredEx came under the spotlight during the Covid pandemic over larger loans it issued in response to the crisis, particularly the €39 million put towards a real estate project in central Tallinn which, at the time, was unfinished and not generating revenue.
The same development, Porto Franco, was at the center of a corruption scandal in January 2021 which led to the collapse of the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition and the resignation of Jüri Ratas as prime minister.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel