War forced Ida-Viru County industrial park developers to change strategy

Jõhvi Business Park.
Jõhvi Business Park. Source: ERR

As a result of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, industrial park developers in Ida-Viru County have shifted their focus, as business relations with the eastern neighbor have stopped. Just Transition Fund assistance is expected.

Teet Kuusmik, director of the Ida-Viru County Investment Agency founded by state and municipal governments, said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine forced them to change their marketing strategy.

Despite the fact that Ida-Viru County is no longer seen as an economic zone between the European Union and Russia, entrepreneurs continue to perceive the county as a potential production location. "Unlike in the past, when we were primarily focused on Russia and Russian companies, we are now refocusing on Nordic and European Union companies," Kuusmik said.

Russia's war stopped the expansion plans of several companies in Ida-Viru County, including the branch of DAF that opened last week in Jõhvi Business Park (Jõhvi Äripark).

Kaido Kaasik, a member of the board of directors of OÜ Truck Trading Estonia, said that despite the consequences of the war, the company will continue to operate in Ida-Viru County.

"Our primary clients are transport companies. Ida-Viru County has been a hub for transport companies that transport to the east for a very long time. Due to the fact that DAF is a popular vehicle among them, the war has had a substantial impact on our business. We still see growth opportunities and a future for our company in this region, so we ignore these setbacks and go about our lives; we believe it is possible to do business here," Kaasik said.

The decline of the Russian market has been mitigated by a 153-million-euro Just Transition Fund, which is expected to generate one thousand jobs in Ida-Viru County.

"Half a year ago, when the war's effects were at their peak, our portfolio of companies was rather modest. Now we are negotiating a large number of new contracts with companies that are investing substantial funds and employ a large number of people," he said.

One-third of the 170 available plots in the four industrial and commercial parks of the Ida-Virumaa Investment Agency have been reserved.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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