Estonia declared its independence in 1918. The country's ancient history is closely related to Sweden, not least the period from 1561 to 1710 when Estonia was part of the Swedish empire.
Estonia is today a parliamentary democracy with well-functioning institutions. There has been a broad political consensus on the development strategy that has promoted the economic growth. In 2004 two important long-term goals were met when the country became a member of both the EU and NATO. Estonia became a member of the OECD in 2010 and in January 2011 the EU's common currency Euro was introduced in Estonia.
There are slightly more than 2000 registered companies with some Swedish ownership in Estonia. Based on Business Sweden’s estimation over 800 maintain an active business in Estonia, in many cases as a subcontractor to the Swedish industry. Sweden is the largest direct foreign investor in Estonia, approximately EUR 4.1 billion equivalent to 26.7 percent (2014).The largest proportion of the Swedish companies are active in various administration and support services, but also trade and repair of motor vehicles.
Many of the Swedish companies have been successful in the Estonian market and have a great impact on the Estonian economy. For example, the Swedish banks have a dominant position and constitute about four-fifths of the local financial market. The largest market players are Swedbank, SEB, Nordea and Handelsbanken. Ericsson alone stands for about ten percent of Estonia's total exports. Among other enterprises, companies such as TeliaSonera, ABB and many forest companies are among the largest enterprises in Estonia.
Trade flows are dominated by the EU countries. 72 percent of the exports went to the EU, in imports was 83 percent from other EU countries. Sweden remains the largest export market and an increase of 5 percent to EUR 2.2 billion (equivalent 18 percent of the total export value) was noted. Exports to Sweden were dominated by electronics, and wood and wood products. Other major export markets are Finland, Latvia and Russia. Important import countries were Finland, Germany and Sweden. Imports from Sweden is dominated by electronics and transport equipment. The bilateral trade with Sweden resulted in an Estonian surplus of EUR 0.7 billion (2014).
Business Sweden is present in Tallinn since the early 1990s. In close cooperation with the offices in Riga and Vilnius, we supply various assignments for Swedish companies which are interested to explore business opportunities, find cooperation partners as well as to establish their own operations in Estonia and the Baltic countries.
We have a broad local experience with well-established networks to efficiently be able to assist new or already established Swedish companies in the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Contact us to find out more about the market and our services.