The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency (EISA) have signed an administrative agreement allocating €10 million towards boosting Estonian companies' export capabilities.
EISA and the ministry signed the deal on Monday this week (pictured).
Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said: "It is the state's role to support the competitiveness of our companies on strategic markets where we have already established ourselves, such as North America and Europe, as well as help them enter markets that are more distant but have great potential, such as those in Asia and Africa."
"Alongside the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, we are also contributing to activities that would be too expensive and complicated to undertake for individual companies on a global scale," he added, via a ministry press release.
"The aim of the agreement is to cooperate on activities where EISA already has competence and experience, for example, participating in major international events, organizing business missions, creating innovative promotional materials for presenting our business sectors, raising the profile of Estonia's business environment and marketing," Tsahkna went on.
EISA board member Liina Maria Lepik meanwhile said that: "Exporting to our close neighbors is perfectly rational, but to mitigate the risks, we must go further, and for more distant markets, the support provided by the state to companies is crucial – shaping Estonia's reputation, opening doors and providing assistance with expertise on the local market, and networking."
"This is backed up by both statistics and the experience so far of EISA and companies interested in foreign markets. The state's visibility at fairs, on business missions or contributing through other events increases our credibility in the eyes of our partners. Additionally, our value proposition is time – condensed market information, and an extensive network of contacts both at home and in target countries make it possible for companies to enter the market more quickly and establish themselves there," Lepik went on.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200), also attending the signing, said that the €10 million would both provide additional strength to help more Estonian companies enter new markets and attract more foreign investment to Estonia.
"The state's coffers can handle only so many expenses as the profits brought in by the companies allow. Exports of from companies and attracting foreign investments here are thus the key to a more prosperous future for Estonia," Riisalo said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it and EISA have agreed for the upcoming years on some common focus countries in exports and investments, measurable objectives and joint activities, to meet the goals they have set themselves.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications EISA had already signed a tripartite agreement last month, aimed at stipulating the principles of cooperation in jointly representing and raising the profile of the Estonian state, boosting Estonia's exports, bringing foreign inward investment into Estonia, and encouraging tourism.
Abroad, business diplomacy is carried out by 40 foreign missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 EISA foreign offices, and the 188 honorary consuls of Estonia, while in Tallinn this task is carried out by the Department for Foreign Investments, Exports and Tourism, also a part of EISA, and the economic diplomacy department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A total of €33 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the EU recovery instrument, €10 million of which goes to EISA, in accordance with the agreement.
EISA was formed from the merger between the formerly separate Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and KredEx agencies.
Editor: Andrew Whyte