Discovery Channel: WiFi coverage in Tallinn is impressive

According to Discovery Channel, WiFi coverage in Tallinn is impressive despite that fact that it seems like an odd place.

Credit goes to Veljo Haamer, the founder of WiFi.ee, Discovery Channel’s technology web page writes.

In addition, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Paris, London, Stockholm, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Sao Paolo were among top ten by wireless Internet access.

Source: BBN

Russian politician: Baltic States complicate our relations with EU

Russian politician Vassili Lihhatchov was not pleased with Baltic States’ standpoints because they complicate Russia’s negotiations with European Union.

Russia has difficulties signing strategic partnership contract with EU as the demands of several members of EU complicate developing framework contract, Päevaleht Online mediates Interfax.

Source: BBN

5 pct VAT rate required for food in Latvia

So that Latvian-produced food does not become one of the most expensive in the EU, both producers and traders ask for a VAT cut, suggesting the rate should fall to 5 pct, Dienas Bizness reports.

The Ministry of Finance points out that any tax changes must be estimated in the context of state budget.

Aina Rozenberga, director of SIA Spare, says: “The reduction of VAT rate would allow to raise competitiveness and reduce production costs.”

Source: BBN

3160 enterprises removed from register in 5 months

According to the data of the Ministry of Justice by 11th June of this year more than 3160 enterprises were erased from the commercial register. Last year 4485 enterprises were removed from the business register during the entire year, writes aripaev.ee.

The number of erased enterprises consisted of concluded liquidations.

This year 620 liquidation proceedings had been started. In the first half of June 580 proceedings were in the progress. By the same time 3160 enterprises had already been erased from the commercial register.

If in the year 2005 a liquidation proceeding took a medium of 304 days, then in the year 2006 an enterprise managed to pack up in a medium of 268 days, and in the year 2007 in 205 days.

Source: BBN

In April the exports of goods record-breaking

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2008 the value of the exports of goods in current prices was 12.2 billion kroons, which is the largest Estonia’s exports of goods during the past decade.

Compared to April of the previous year, the nominal increase of exports was 1.8 billion kroons or by 18%. The increase of the exports was mainly caused by the dispatches of metals and products thereof and of machinery and equipment.

The imports of goods were 15.8 billion kroons, which was 0.2 billion kroons or 2% bigger compared to April 2007. One of the main reasons of the slowdown in the growth of imports was the decrease of imports from Russia by nearly one billion kroons (45%).The trade deficit in April was 3.6 billion kroons. Compared to April 2007, the trade deficit decreased by 1.6 billion kroons — mainly caused by the faster growth of exports than of imports.

 

In April 2008 the share of the EU countries was 69% and the share of CIS countries accounted for 18% of the total exports (in the previous year 70% and 11%, respectively). Compared to the same month of the previous year, the exports of goods to the EU countries increased by 1.1 billion kroons (15%), and the exports to CIS countries by 0.3 billion kroons (27%). The main countries of destination were Finland, Sweden and Russia.

In total imports the share of the EU countries was 82% and that of CIS countries 13% (in the previous year 77% and 16%, respectively). Imports from the EU countries increased by over a billion kroons (9%), at the same time imports from CIS countries decreased by 0.8 billion kroons or nearly by one third. The biggest increase (0.3 billion kroons) was announced in imports from Lithuania. The most important partners in imports were Finland, Germany and Sweden.

In both exports and imports the most important commodity section was machinery and equipment that accounted for one fifth of the both flows. In exports the nominal increase was the biggest in the exports of metals and products of thereof and of machinery and equipment (both by 0.6 billion kroons). The exports of mineral products and transport equipment decreased. The biggest decline in the imports of goods was in the section of wood and products thereof (by 0.3 billion kroons), accounting for the biggest deficit in foreign trade balance (0.7 billion kroons). The biggest increase in imports was announced in the sections of raw materials and products of chemical industry, machinery and equipment and metals and products thereof.

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, April 2008

Country of destination,
group of countries

Exports,
mln kroons

Share,
%

Change, compared to same
month of previous year, %

Country of consignment,
group of countries

Imports,
mln kroons

Share,
%

Change, compared to same
month of previous year, %

TOTAL

12 235

100

18

TOTAL

15 834

100

2

EU 27

8 422

69

15

EU 27

13 018

82

9

CIS

1 491

18

27

CIS

1 679

13

-33

1. Finland

2 223

18

24

1. Finland

2 532

16

-5

2. Sweden

1 696

14

27

2. Germany

2 244

14

13

3. Russia

1 133

9

23

3. Sweden

1 709

11

18

4. Latvia

1 045

9

-20

4. Lithuania

1 328

8

35

5. Lithuania

673

6

15

5. Latvia

1 210

8

26

6. Germany

663

5

24

6. Russia

1 118

7

-45

7. Norway

535

4

63

7. Poland

778

5

24

8. United States

530

4

-11

8. Netherlands

546

3

5

9. Denmark

393

3

34

9. United Kingdom

446

3

-3

10. Netherlands

306

3

4

10. Italy

418

3

-7

Exports and imports by commodity sections, April 2008

Commodity section by Combined Nomenclature (CN)

Exports

Imports

Balance,
mln kroons

mln
kroons

share,
%

change compared to same
month of previous year, %

mln
kroons

share,
%

change compared to same
month of previous year, %

TOTAL

12 235

100

18

15 834

100

2

-3 599

Agricultural products and food preparations (I-IV)

1 063

9

30

1 514

10

2

-451

Mineral products (V)

1 485

12

-1

2 089

13

3

-604

Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI)

562

5

11

1 310

8

25

-748

Articles of plastics and rubber (VII)

385

3

20

822

5

8

-437

Wood and products thereof (IX)

1 145

9

4

467

3

-43

678

Paper and articles thereof (X)

355

3

8

342

2

25

13

Textiles and products thereof (XI)

533

4

1

830

5

10

-297

Metals and products thereof (XV)

1 562

13

65

1 775

11

8

-213

Machinery and equipment (XVI)

2 605

21

27

3 475

22

4

-870

Transport equipment (XVII)

920

8

-2

2 010

13

-8

-1 090

Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX)

926

8

14

369

2

-4

557

Other

694

6

29

831

5

-3

-137

 Source: Statistics Estonia

Ex-ambassador Believes in Improvement of Estonian-Russian Relations

Marina Kaljurand, who is to take office as deputy secretary general of the Estonian Foreign Ministry this fall after spending three years as ambassador in Moscow, told in an interview to Eesti Päevaleht that she believes in the improvement of relations between Estonia and Russia.
Kaljurand observed that relations between the two neighbours have been difficult for a long time.
For the improvement of relations a dialogue is needed, along with more contacts on all levels, including between politicians of the highest level, she said.
“Bilateral meetings, apart from the substantive matters that are discussed at them, are very important as signs. They show that one wishes to develop relations, that one is interested. Especially in Russia they are an important sign for officials, a sign to start acting,” Kaljurand said.
She said that in the absence of high-level meetings there were more than ten bilateral agreements between Estonia and Russia that were ready to be signed but remained this way.
“On the basis of present assessments one may guess that relations with the EU, and through it also with Estonia, relations with the West more broadly, could get better. There is hope. But this is pure speculation right now. You have to wait to see what happens in half a year, in a year. When speeches become actions,” Kaljurand said.

Source: Estonian Review

Producer price indices increased in May

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2008 the percentage change in the producer price index was 0.2% compared to April 2008 and 7.2% compared to May 2007.

In May compared to April 2008 the producer price index was mainly influenced by the increase in prices in the manufacture of building materials and in the manufacture of rubber and plastic products. Compared to May 2007 the prices increased mainly in the manufacture of food and beverages.Change in the producer price index by economic activity, May 2008

Economic activity April 2008 -
May 2008, %
May 2007 -
May 2008, %
TOTAL 0.2 7.2
Energy supply 0.1 14.2
Mining -0.4 12.7
Manufacturing 0.2 6.4

In May 2008 the percentage change in the export price index was 0.0% compared to April 2008 and 4.3% compared to May 2007.

In May compared to April the export price index was mainly influenced by the increase in prices in the manufacture of chemical products, rubber and plastic products and metal products and by the decrease in the manufacture of peat and peat products, food, textile products and wood and wood products.

In May 2008 the percentage change in the import price index was 1.5% compared to April 2008 and 6.2% compared to May 2007.

In May compared to April the import price index was mainly influenced by the increase in prices of mineral fuels, chemicals and chemical products and metal products and by the decrease in prices of agricultural products and wood and wood products.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Olympic Opens its First Casino in Slovakia

Estonia’s Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) has opened its first casino in Slovakia, in the Radisson SAS Carlton Hotel in the centre of Bratislava.
The casino represents an investment of 4.7 million euros, the company said. This is the eighth country in which Olympic Casino has started casino operations.
The activity license issued to OEG’s Slovakian subsidiary is the first new gaming license issued to casino operators in that country in the last decade. Until now this country of 5.4 million people had only two casino operators in Bratislava.
OEG started preparations for entering Slovakia’s gaming market at the end of April 2007 by setting up a local subsidiary. Olympic Entertainment Slovakia obtained the gaming license at the beginning of 2008.

Source: Estonian Review

Last year the average wages and salaries were over 11,000 kroons

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2007, the annual average monthly gross wages and salaries were 11,336 kroons and the hourly gross wages and salaries were 67.26 kroons. Compared to the previous year, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were by 20.5% and the average hourly gross wages and salaries were by 21.1% higher

In 2007 compared to the previous year, the annual average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in fishing; construction and mining and quarrying economic activities (29.6%, 29.2% and 28.3%, respectively). The average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the least in real estate, renting and business activities; hotels and restaurants and in education (7.1%, 16.2% and 18.2%, respectively).

In 2007 compared to the previous year, the average hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in fishing; construction and public administration economic activity (34.6%, 29.5% and 26.7%, respectively). The average hourly gross wages and salaries increased the least in real estate, renting and business activities; hotels and restaurants and in education (6.9%, 17.6% and 19.5%, respectively).

In short term statistics the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s social contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

In 2007 the employer’s average monthly labour costs per employee were 15,240 kroons and the average hourly labour costs were 101.06 kroons. Compared to the previous year, the average monthly labour costs per employee and the hourly labour costs increased 20.5%.

Compared to the previous year, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased the most in fishing (29.3%), and the least in real estate, renting and business activities (7.1%).

Compared to the previous year, the average hourly labour costs increased the most in construction (30.2%) and the least in real estate, renting and business activities (6.2%).

Statistics Estonia conducts the survey of wages and salaries statistics on the basis of international methodology since 1992. In 2007, the sample included 8,814 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full time units to enable a comparison of different wages and salaries, irrespective of the length of working time. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.).

Average monthly gross wages and salaries, 1st quarter 2004 – 1st quarter 2008
(kroons)

GRAY-LABOR COSTS

BLACK-GROSS WAGES AND SALARIES

  Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter
2004 7 287 6 748 7 417 7 021 7 704
2005 8 073 7 427 8 291 7 786 8 690
2006 9 407 8 591 9 531 9 068 10 212
2007 11 336 10 322 11 549 10 899 12 270
2008   12 337      

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee, 2007


Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2007


GRAY-LABOR COSTS

BLACK-GROSS WAGES AND SALARIES

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonia’s 2007 Average Wage Grows by one-fifth on Year

The average monthly gross wages and salaries were 11,336 kroons (EUR 724.3) in Estonia in 2007, representing an annual increase of 20.5 percent, Statistics Estonia said.
Hourly gross wages and salaries for the 12-month period totalled 67.26 kroons, a rise of 21.1 percent.
Compared to the previous year, the annual average monthly gross wages and salaries increased the most in fishing, construction, and mining, the respective rates of increase being 29.6 percent, 29.2 percent and 28.3 percent.

Source: Estonian Review

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