Mait Palts: No growth forecast for industrial sector in near future

Mait Palts.
Mait Palts. Source: ERR

While analysts may be positive about the prospects of economic recovery and growth in Estonia's industrial sector in the near future, many businesses do not share that enthusiasm at this point, according to chief of the local chamber of commerce.

Speaking to Vikerradio's "Uudis +" program, Mait Palts, head of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (kaubandus- ja tööstuskoda), said: "All of us would actually like to see the curve to rise again, as analysts have been encouraging that in recent times.

"But at the moment, firms do not seem to have any confidence that this is likely to happen in the near future," Palts added.

State agency Statistics Estonia reports that industrial production continues to decline in Estonia. According to Palts, there is no sign of any upturn or recovery in the near future. 

The decline has occurred both in energy and in the manufacturing industry, with only mining seeing growth.

Palts said explained that the drop in production has been caused by several different problems convening, including the weak situation with Estonia's main target markets today – including a long-running decline in Finnish industrial production.

More layoffs in the timber sector for instance are expected, even as the search for new markets is actively underway, to replace the market share that has fallen away from the Scandinavian countries.

However, according to Palts, establishing a foothold in Central European markets instead may also take a few years.

Economic and wage growth might help, but that is nowhere to be expected at this point in time. "At the moment, it seems to me that while different analysts continue to present the most positive messages, in communicating with entrepreneurs, this feeling is has not yet presented," Palts added.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Grete-Liina Roosve

Source: 'Uudis+', interviewer Mirko Ojakivi.

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