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Estonia at a Glance

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  • Estonia at a Glance

Estonia at a Glance

  • Official name: Republic of Estonia
  • Head of state: President
  • Government: Parlamentary democracy
  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • Memberships: EU, NATO, OECD, WTO, Eurozone, Schengen area
  • Independence Day: 24th of February
  • Total area: 45,339 square km. Neighboring Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Russia
  • Population: 1.3 million (2016)
  • Capital: Tallinn (423,000 inhabitants)
  • Other major cities: Tartu (94,000), Narva (58,000), Pärnu (40,000), Kohtla-Järve (36,000)
  • Language: Estonian. English, Russian and Finnish are widely spoken.
  • Major natural resources: Timber, oil shale, phosphorite, peat, limestone, dolomite
  • Time zone: GMT + 2 hours
  • Distances from Tallinn: Helsinki 85 km, Riga 307 km, St. Petersburg 395 km, Stockholm 405 km, Vilnius 605 km
  • Flight times: Helsinki 35 min, Stockholm 1 h, Copenhagen 1 h 30 min, Moscow 1 h 40 min, Berlin 1 h 45 min, Amsterdam 2 h 20 min, London 2 h 45 min
  • Climate: Estonian climate is humid and temperate. 50% of Estonian land is covered by forests.


The geopolitical location of Estonia, its compactness and thousands years of experience in communicating towards the northern, the western and the eastern directions give Estonia truly a unique position.

Estonia belongs to the North and forms a part of one of the most valuable regions of Europe, the core of which is Scandinavia. This is also expressed in Estonian sense of aesthetics, our appearance and temper.
Common logic would say that we don’t have an attractive sales market. The practice, however, has proven that Estonia has a considerable development and production platform for international knowledge-based companies (such as Skype, Ericsson, ABB, etc).

As a border state of the European Union, we also have a highly developed logistic infrastructure that successfully enables to move goods, knowledge and people on the eastern-western direction.

Estonian character

Estonia is a Nordic country. That means unspoilt nature, mercilessly harsh weather, white nights and dark days. It also means the strict discipline required from us by our climate – clear shapes, quality in both thinking and action, as well as sustainable development and concern for the future.

Photograph by Arne Ader

Rootedness. We have inhabited this land for thousands of years. This is phenomenal in the whole of Europe and rare in the world. We have been daunted by various wars and foreign domination but we’re still here. This provides us with a historical background that is unique in the world. There is heroic romance in our rootedness. It also gives us unique language and traditions.

The eastern influence. We ourselves come from the east, and many people have come here from the east. It would be naïve to think that we have no relation with the [land of the] rising sun. We have inherited our generally quite hospitable nature from the east. Also, our present educational background has discernible eastern influences.

Progress. Logistically, we are located in a complex place. We straddle the sea, land, forest and various cultures. Throughout our existence, we have had to adapt to different influences and restrictions. We are adapters. Today our e- and m-thinking is a good example of our adaptability. We are pioneers who apply efficient means and do so quickly.

Many exciting contrasts. We have ancient history and high-tech, eastern hospitality and northern conservativeness, a liberal economic environment and pristine nature. It is amazing how a people with a strong inner angst can acquire new skills so easily, or how odd a tradition is for an introverted Nordic people to form huge choirs every once in a while and sing together.

Photograph by Kaupo Kalda

Business environment

Estonia can offer a progressive business environment with an efficient and compatible infrastructure. Our e-services, mobile communications and internet applications are among the most progressive in the world. Estonians are adaptable towards new technologies, and use them willingly.

The attractiveness of Estonia is demonstrated by the large number of foreign investors doing business here and the dominance of world-renowned foreign companies in several of Estonia’s economic sectors. Foreign impact is also revident from the fact that exports represents more than 100% of Estonian GDP.

In Estonia, foreign investors are treated the same as domestic ones, and European Union subsidies, for instance, are equally available for both foreign and domestic companies.

Estonia’s advantageous and user-friendly business environment has attracted a great number of foreign investors and large companies of international renown to the country – Ericsson, ABB, Kuehne + Nagel, Stora Enso, Symantec, Stoneridge, Vopak EOS, Deutsche Post DHL and many others. The fact that Estonian banks are mostly owned by well-known Nordic banks, such as Swedbank and SEB, also speaks in favour of the reliability of Estonia’s business environment.

Further information


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