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Government has no specific plan to stimulate economy

Toompea and Stenbock House.
Toompea and Stenbock House. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

There is no easy or quick solution to improving Estonia's economy, members of the government believe. While companies could be helped with investments and subsidies, it is impossible to influence the export markets.

Minister of Economy and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200) said the state of Estonia's economy is bad and recovery may not take the same form as in the past.

Important one-time events, such as joining the European Union and switching to the Euro, boosted the economy but these can not be recreated.

Now Estonia is being forced to find a completely new economic model, but it will take time. 

In the short term, it is possible to offer certain support to companies, but there is no way to change the export markets, Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Majandus- ja IT minister Tiit Riisalo Autor/allikas: Siim Lõvi /ERR

"Of course, we need to help companies as much as possible to establish themselves in these old home markets and support innovation first and foremost, so that they can go there with new products, but also, on the other hand, to seize new markets," said Riisalo.

Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev (Reform) made it clear that the country does not have a magic wand to save the economy.

"Ultimately, the state does not have a magic wand. What we can do is to carry out these investments, investment subsidies, help companies make changes in their production, their export prospects, improving their competitiveness through them," he said.

Mart Võrklaev Source: ERR

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said the economy could be quickly boosted by building roads or rental houses, for example. But there is no agreement among the parties.

He thinks the most important thing is the implementation of the energy plan, which could be more ambitious so that energy-intensive companies could also be brought to Estonia.

"If we can get the price of energy cheaper, more renewable energy capacity as quickly as possible, it will reduce the cost of production for every company, and that will actually also automatically improve Estonia's export capacity and ultimately have an impact on whether we retain jobs and what jobs are created here," Läänemets said.

Lauri Läänemets. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

In the case of foreign investments in Estonia, the lack of skilled labor often becomes an obstacle. Ministers said investments should be made in education and science to support people's retraining, but it will still be necessary to bring in talent from abroad.

"There has been talk of labor quotas or possible sectoral derogations, of creating a community of trusted entrepreneurs," said Riisalo.

The minister said Estonia's economy could double by 2035 if different steps are taken.

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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright

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