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Riigikogu committee calls for expert group to look at improving Estonia's competitiveness

A door inside the Riigikogu.
A door inside the Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi/Priit Mürk/ERR

Given the "deplorable" state of the Estonian economy, the Riigikogu's Economic Affairs Committee has decided to convene an expert panel, to focus on competitiveness.

The group would initially be tasked with analyzing Estonian competitiveness going forward, and coming up with ideas for improving this.

While this report is expected by spring, its completion need not mean the panel's work is done.

Priit Lomp (SDE) chairman of the Riigikogu committee, said that both government and the Riigikogu could do with sound advice during the current economic recession. The expert group will work at the economic committee.

Prrit Lomp (SDE). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Lomp said: "We have convened a small number of representatives of institutions from the Bank of Estonia, the Foresight Center (an independent think-tank under the Riigikogu's auspices – ed.) , the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), in order to analyze proposals that various market participants have come up with in recent years."

Lomp said that this analysis should yield ideas which could be discussed at the Riigkogu.

EKRE MP Rain Epler, however, says he is skeptical about the need for or prospects of the proposed expert group.

"In my opinion, there are enough of these groups in the form of institutions or groups, which work together on a voluntary basis," Epler said.

Isamaa MP Mart Maastik also found that advice could be sought from existing organizations.

There was scope for the group "if it is on social grounds and it does not take anything from the state purse, and does not create a separate cost for the state or organization," he added.

Priit Lomp pointed to analog competitiveness expert groups to be found in several European countries.

He also anticipated a better economic situation in the future, which would also give the proposed body more to do.

"This task could be one that doesn't have an expiry date, and could last for years and years," he said.

The Economic Affairs Committee is awaiting for a response from the Foresight Center, the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank), and Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), by December 8.

The University of Tartu has already responded;. According to Lomp, the expert group's inaugural meeting should take place before Christmas.

The full process of picking the panel of experts was not reported.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Anne Raiste

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