Entrepreneurship minister: No point crying over wage pressure

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

To improve Estonian businesses’ competitiveness the focus should be placed on raising productivity, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE) said opening Äripaev’s “Industry 4.0 in Estonia” conference on Friday.

“There is no point crying over the low wage levels being gone. It is no longer and will never again be our competitive advantage. We need to focus on what we can change, and that’s productivity,” the minister said.

The government would support entrepreneurs, but couldn’t do their job for them, Palo added. “The government has undertaken reforms that will have a positive effect on the labor market. We want to go ahead developing zero bureaucracy and e-services. In addition, we’re set to increase investment in infrastructure and housing. We’re also ready to experiment with differentiated labor taxes,” Palo listed the government’s intended steps.

To raise productivity and reduce the growing digital divide in the economy, it was vital for the private sector to become more automated and digitized, Palo said.

“The productivity of the Estonian industry currently stands at a mere 55 percent of the European Union’s average. If it rose to the average, Estonia’s gross domestic product would be €3 billion bigger, and its impact on the state budget in turn would be close to €1.5 billion,” the minister said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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