Estonia: Doing business and staying in touch
Doing Business in Estonia
Estonia embraces the European Union example of how business is conducted.
Dress code is relatively formal, with suit and tie expected for business meetings, although new technology-based industries have incorporated more casual attire. Handshakes are the normal way to start any meeting, and gifts are appreciated. Prior appointments are necessary, it may take time to arrange a meeting and it is best to reconfirm before setting off. Business is conducted formally and business cards are exchanged after introduction. Successful meetings are often followed by drinks in a pub or dinners at an Estonian restaurant.
The Estonian economy is widely seen as an excellent example of a transitional economy, providing its citizens with one of the best standards of living in the former Eastern bloc.
Estonia has a thriving information technology sector with the government relentlessly pursuing and encouraging startups by introducing various schemes, including a Startup Visa scheme which helps non-EU entrepreneurs grow their businesses in Estonia, and e-Residency which allows non-Estonians access to vital business-friendly services like company formation, banking and taxation.
Trade with Finland, Sweden, Germany and Russia remains strong and key to the healthy of its economy; the downside is that Estonia is also vulnerable to volatile trade flows and external shocks.
Estonia has a significant amount of oil-shale which supplies over 90% of its electricity needs. Apart from oil-shale, Estonia has few raw materials of its own and relies mostly on imported commodities to produce finished goods.
US$25.92 billion (2017).
Machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, food products, vehicles, chemical products and metals.
Machinery and equipment, food products, mineral fuels and wood products.
Main trading partners
Finland, Sweden, Germany, Russia and Lithuania.
Keeping in Touch in Estonia
All payphones in Estonia were taken out of service in 2010 and the country has no payphones today.
Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies and there is good coverage even on smaller islands.
The internet is key to Estonia's economic success and you can get excellent coverage via your mobile even in the forests. Free wireless zones can be found all over the country too.
The post-independence years of the early 1990s saw a large increase in the production of newspapers, which has now fallen off as the market becomes more stable. Today, it is estimated that 91% of the population get their news from the internet.
The Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting, ERR) operates two television stations Eesti Televisioon (ETV), ETV2 and five radio stations.
Post to western Europe takes three to six days. In Tallinn the central post office is at 1 Narva maantee.Post Office hours
Mon-Fri 1000-1700. Some larger post offices may stay open longer, and also open on weekends.