Economy

Union leader: Paying benefits for initial sick days especially important

27.02.20 ... Although the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is not an extremely dangerous virus, paying sickness benefits to employees during their initial days of sick leave has become more important than ever before, Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) chairman Peep Peterson said on Thursday.

Seeder: Reform's income tax idea worth discussing

27.02.20 ... The opposition Reform Party's proposal to implement a universal minimum personal income tax exemption of €500 in lieu of the current income tax system is worth discussing, coalition Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder said on Thursday.

Minister: Energy sector must be transformed responsibly

27.02.20 ... Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas said at a meeting of European Union ministers responsible for competition on Thursday that while the energy sector must change, people's jobs and the security of supply of energy must not suffer. ​

Tallink Grupp 2019 net profit up nearly quarter on year

27.02.20 ... According to the unaudited financial results released to the Tallinn Stock Exchange (TSE) on Thursday, Tallink Grupp AS has reported an unaudited net profit of €49.7 million for the 2019 financial year, up from €40 million in 2018. The group also reported the highest fourth quarter result of the last five years at a net profit of €5.5 million, up from a loss of €1.8 million on year.

Tallink parent company CEO: We'll bring clients to Linnahall ourselves

27.02.20 ... According to Ain Hanschmidt, CEO of shipper Tallink's parent company AS Infortar, the 5,000-seat hall at Tallinn's Linnahall isn't too big, and will allow for more international events to take place in Estonia. Tallink will also be able to bring future clientele straight to the complex via the port being expanded directly behind it, he explained on ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Wednesday night.

Statistics: Business sector turnover and investments increased in 2019

27.02.20 ... In 2019 turnover increased in most economic areas but was negatively affected by energy and mining, data from Statistics Estonia shows.

Pharmacy reform may not introduce desired competition to drug market

27.02.20 ... Following Tuesday's rejection in the Riigikogu of a bill submitted by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) calling for the cancellation of the planned pharmacy reform, it became clear that the reform would be implemented as planned. As of April 1, pharmacies may only be pharmacist-owned, and drug wholesalers must forgo their pharmacy chains. It is nonetheless uncertain whether the reform will improve competition in retail drug sales.

Tallink to develop port at Tallinn's iconic Linnahall

26.02.20 ... Shipping line Tallink is to develop the iconic Linnahall in Tallinn, at an estimated cost of €300 million, with a passenger harbor planned as well as a conference center, concert hall, hotel and shopping center.

Reform proposing €500 minimum income tax exemption for all

26.02.20 ... The opposition Reform Party is submitting a bill on Wednesday according to which everyone, regardless of the size of their annual income, would be granted an income tax exemption of €500 per month (€6,000 annually), beyond which income would be subject to a flat rate of 20 percent.

Following Tootsi loss, Utilitas planning major renewables investments

26.02.20 ... Estonian energy group Utilitas, which ultimately had to give up against Eesti Energia in the auction for the Tootsi wind farm property last week, is planning major investments into solar and wind energy. According to former entrepreneurship and IT minister Rene Tammist, who is in charge of Utilitas' wind and solar electricity development, the time is not yet right to reveal the energy group's exact plans.

Paper: University of Tartu refused to publish article on Huawei

26.02.20 ... The February issue of University of Tartu magazine Universitas Tartuensis was supposed to include an article by editor Mari Eesmaa about a cooperation agreement signed between the university and Chinese tech giant Huawei last fall, but under unclear circumstances, the article went unpublished, writes weekly Eesti Ekspress.

Kristina Kallas: Ida-Viru County awaiting government alternatives to Põxit

26.02.20 ... Speaking on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" on Tuesday night, Estonia 200 chairwoman Kristina Kallas said that Ida-Viru County is prepared to take action in the direction of alternatives to abandoning oil shale, but the government doesn't have the necessary vision.

Estonian defense companies represented at Abu Dhabi trade fair

25.02.20 ... Enterprise Estonia in cooperation with the Estonian Defense Industry Association is mediating the participation of Estonian businesses in the UMEX 2020 unmanned systems and technologies fair in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, from Feb. 23 to 25.

SEB Bank: Online purchases grow over 50 percent, 2017-2019

25.02.20 ... Online commerce in Estonia has grown over 50 percent compared since 2017, according to SEB Bank, with the market share of online merchants has increasing to 11 percent over the same period. Much of the growth comes from relatively recent types of e-commerce, such as ride-sharing and food delivery services, with large, international e-stores seeing the largest increases.

Pharmacy magnate urges Riigikogu to stand up for business freedoms

25.02.20 ... Pharmaceuticals magnate Margus Linnamäe has called for the Riigikogu to halt the government's planned pharmacy reform, and stand up for what he calls freedom of enterprise.

KFC reconsiders English-language marketing text after Archbishop criticism

23.02.20 ... Calls for fast food chain KFC to have in-restaurant text in Estonian have led to the company's franchisee in Estonia, Apollo Group, to consider pursuing translation options, according to daily Postimees.

SEB analyst: Estonia's labor market has passed its peak

23.02.20 ... Estonia's labor market indicators hit their all-time high last year and no new records will apparently be set this year, SEB economic analyst Mihkel Nestor said.

EU national leaders to continue talks on long-term budget

22.02.20 ... European Union heads of state and heads of government during their extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday discussed the EU's next long-term budget for 2021-2027, the communication office of the government of Estonia said.

Luminor charges highest pension fund management fees

22.02.20 ... Pension fund management fees differ not just between banks but also various funds offered by the same bank. The largest second pillar fund is Swedbank's K60, while the fees are highest for funds offered by Luminor.

Ministry: Border trade continues despite Latvian excise hike

22.02.20 ... Looming changes to the alcohol excise duty rate in Latvia will render trips to the south to buy strong alcohol meaningless, while beer will remain noticeably cheaper. The Ministry of Finance does not perceive border trade ending just yet.

Tootsi wind farm project could cost over €200 million

22.02.20 ... The total costs of the proposed Tootsi wind farm could come to around €200 million, according to a spokesperson for state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia green subsidiary, Enefit Green.

Rail Baltic and Elering ink coordination deal

21.02.20 ... Rail Baltic Estonia, the Estonian arm of the high-speed rail link planned through all three Baltic States, has signed a cooperation agreement with electricity grid distributor Elering which will allow the proposed line to coexist with Elering infrastructure.

Sõnajalgs pulling wind farm development activities out of Estonia

21.02.20 ... Businessmen brothers Oleg and Andres Sõnajalg are relocating all wind farm development activities outside of Estonia, Baltic News Service reports. The move follows years of conflict between their company, Eleon, which had part-developed a wind farm at Aidu in eastern Estonia, and the Estonian state.

Population minister wants alcohol sales ban at Independence Day events

21.02.20 ... The Ministry of the Interior is taking the proposal of Population Minister Riina Solman and will not be offering any alcoholic beverages at its Independence Day events this year, the minister is also suggesting that alcohol not be offered at any other Independence Day events either.

Jüri Ratas stands with picketing Estonian farmers in Brussels

21.02.20 ... Prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center) joined protesting Estonian farmers outside the Council of the European Union building on Thursday.

Swedbank: Exceptionally mild winter negatively affecting economy

20.02.20 ... The exceptionally warm winter this year has had a negative effect on economic growth, says a senior economist from Swedbank.

Foreign trade minister highlights tourism's economic significance

20.02.20 ... Tourism is significant for Estonia's economy, and the sector must do more to attract high-yield visitors, says Minister for Foreign Trade and IT Kaimar Karu.

Businessman hopes state-bought wind farm plot won't get support

20.02.20 ... The recent purchase of a plot of land at Tootsi, in Pärnu County by state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia will hopefully not lead to the latter getting renewable energy support, said Oleg Sõnajalg, owner of a private company also engaged in the field.

Estonian farmers picket EU over subsidies inequalities

20.02.20 ... Estonian farmers are to picket the Council of the European Union building in Brussels Thursday, calling for equal treatment with the rest of the European Union ahead of the new budgetary period being negotiated, Baltic News Service reports.

Imminent new EU budgetary period brings confusion over Rail Baltic funding

20.02.20 ... Changes made under the European Union's proposed budgetary period for 2021-2027 put the high-speed Rail Baltic project into jeopardy, according to finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE). However, former European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas says that Rail Baltic funding should continue along the same lines as before, and if the development should break down, that would be the responsibility of the current Estonian government.

Ministry draws up electric scooter regulation changes

20.02.20 ... The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has proposed changes in the rules for the use of electric scooters.

Air Baltic Tallinn departures numbers up 37 percent on year to January

19.02.20 ... Latvian state-owned airline Air Baltic saw a 37 percent rise on passenger numbers flying from Tallinn, on year to January 2020, Baltic News Service reports.

Finance minister: No agreement on EU budget plan yet

19.02.20 ... Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Wednesday negotiations on the European Union's new budget framework are going to be very difficult and that an agreement will probably not be reached this weekend.

New Baltic power connection could happen through Liivi offshore wind farm

19.02.20 ... Eesti Energia is planning to construct a billion-euro offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga (Liivi laht) close to Latvian territorial waters. A similar farm could be constructed on the Latvian side and, provided transmission network operators of both countries agree, the two could be used for a new Estonia-Latvia power link.

Mobility plan detrimental to Estonian road freight operators' interests

19.02.20 ... Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas and the transport ministers of eight EU member states met on Tuesday with Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and European Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Valean to prevent the Commission's mobility package from taking effect in its present form due to the draft legislation being incompatible with the principles of the European single market and environmental objectives.

Renewable energy expert: Eesti Energia needs Tootsi wind farm

19.02.20 ... Wind energy expert Martin Kruus said Eesti Energia has long had an interest in the site of Tootsi wind farm and that it was necessary to acquire it for the public offering of shares.

Government reaches agreement ahead of EU budget talks starting Thursday

18.02.20 ... Estonia sees greater contribution to achieving the goals of the EU's cohesion policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and infrastructure projects like Rail Baltic and electricity grid synchronization as key areas in European Union negotiations for the 2021-2027 period, soon to commence.

Eesti Energia buys Tootsi wind farm at auction for €51.5 million

18.02.20 ... Eesti Energia offered the highest bid at the auction for the land at Tootsi wind farm, organized by the State Forest Management Center (RMK). The final price was €51,5 million.

EU funds hiatus sees reduced Tallinn road reconstruction work in 2020

18.02.20 ... Tallinn road reconstruction in 2020 is likely to slow down on the previous year, in part due to a lack of EU cohesion funds as the union enters a new budgetary period.

Pharmacy chains playing a waiting game on reforms

18.02.20 ... Major pharmacy chains in Estonia are waiting to see what happens with pharmacy reform, in particular a Riigikogu vote next week on no less than three rival bills which aim to amend the government's own reforms, Baltic News Service reports.

380,000 tax returns submitted by Tuesday morning

18.02.20 ... Around 380,000 2019 tax returns had been submitted to the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) by Tuesday, Baltic News Service reports.

Ida-Viru County is considering building a carbon dioxide capture plant

18.02.20 ... Proposals to accelerate the development of Ida-Viru County include the construction of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant in Auvere which would allow the captured gas to be sold or reused. But climate experts are not convinced.

Agriculture and Rail Baltic Estonia priorities in EU long-term budget plans

18.02.20 ... Reactions to the European Council President Charles Michel's budget proposals for the 2020-2027 period have remained at a critical level, according to a report on ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Monday night.

Possible US Three Seas money oil shale scope

18.02.20 ... United States support pledged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could in part be allocated to the oil shale sector in Estonia, according to a report on ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Monday evening. The sector does not fit well with EU climate policy, but at the same time, there are limitations to how far the United States money can go as well.

330,000 file 2019 tax returns by noon on Monday

17.02.20 ... Around 330,000 2019 tax returns had been filed with the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) by 12.00 p.m. on Monday.

Only 32 plots of land have been acquired for Rail Baltic in Estonia

17.02.20 ... Of the approximately 650 properties needed for the construction of a high-speed railway, 32 have been acquired in Estonia so far. The Land Board estimates that 200 procedures can be carried out at maximum per year, but negotiations with landowners are very complicated. However, no expropriation decision has yet been taken.

New app developed to allow people to compare salaries

17.02.20 ... A new web application is about to be completed under the leadership of the office of the equality ombudsman that will allow all people in Estonia to compare their salaries with those of their professional counterparts free of charge, the raha.geenius.ee portal reports.

All three bills challenging coalition pharma reform to go to Riigikogu vote

17.02.20 ... The Social Affairs Committee, dealing with the submission of the bills, gave the go ahead to all three on Monday. They will be sent for their first readings on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Overproduction of natural gas drives prices to record low

17.02.20 ... The warmer than average winter, competing fuels, and fierce competition between gas sellers have led to natural gas prices falling to their lowest level in a decade. At the same time, gas consumption is decreasing and private consumers are turning to alternatives.

Riigikogu state budget committee to scrutinize government investments

17.02.20 ... The Riigikogu's state budget control select committee is discussing public sector planning and investments management organization at a public sitting Monday, following a recent National Audit Office (Riigikontroll) report which highlighted several shortfalls in the area.
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