400 MEEK to support exports

Tomorrow, 27 February, Enterprise Estonia will open an export marketing support programme, lasting until the year 2013, which will significantly increase the export capacity of Estonian companies on foreign markets. The support, co-funded from the European Regional Development Fund, amounts to more than MEEK 400.

According to Ülari Alamets, director of Enterprise Estonia, the purpose of the new support programme is to increase the competitiveness of Estonian companies on foreign markets by supporting planned integral marketing activities. “With the support, we wish to increase the export turnover of our entrepreneurs, increase the proportion of high added value products and services in export turnover and increase the number of exporting entrepreneurs,” Alamets explained.

According to the director of Enterprise Estonia, an increase in exports is the key to the persistence of Estonian economic life, as the economy that has been mainly focused on the domestic market is showing clear signs of cooling down. “Compared to the export support of 2004-2006, we have simplified the application process and decreased the number of required documents; we have also abandoned the requirement of doing business for a year, so that starting companies could also apply for support,” Alamets said. “According to our estimates, with the MEEK 400, the export marketing programme will generate additional export turnover of about BEEK 50 in six years,” Alamets added.

Within the framework of the export marketing support programme 2007-2013, entrepreneurs can apply for support for an export marketing project that lasts for 12-24 months, for entry with their product or service into a new market. As new marketing activities, the bringing of products into conformity with the requirements of the export market, the preparation of product samples, the elaboration of product or service brands and the registration of trademarks in a foreign country are supported. Of current activities, the visiting of target markets, market studies, organisation of marketing activities in both foreign country and Estonia, and participation in foreign trade shows aimed at target markets are still being supported.

However, due to the earlier inefficient use of the support funds, the purchasing of consultation services for compiling and implementing an export plan will not be supported anymore. The lack of support will be compensated for by respective training and consultations by Enterprise Estonia to entrepreneurs for compiling their export plan and conducting a target market study, which will direct entrepreneurs to be more engaged in the compilation of their export plan than they currently are.

The minimum amount of support applied for is EEK 150 000 and the maximum amount MEEK 1.5 per project. The limit of financing support is up to 50% of eligible costs; the rest of the costs must be funded by the entrepreneur themselves. Support will be given on the basis of the export plan, as a well-elaborated export yields considerably better results. Support can be applied for by both operating and start-up exporters, regardless of the size of the company. More information on the application process available on the web page of Enterprise Estonia: www.eas.ee/eksporditurundus.

The objective of Enterprise Estonia, founded in 2000, is to promote entrepreneurship and regional policy in Estonia. EE is actively engaged in the following fields: support of new sustainable companies, increase of the export capacity and product development capacity of Estonian companies, involvement of foreign direct investments in the Estonian economy, increase of tourism export and local tourism, and the promotion of regional development and a civil society.

Source: Enterpirse Estonia

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