Russian bus company to open charter line to Estonian spas

Baltic Shuttle, a St. Petersburg bus company, will open charter lines to Estonian spas, the Valgamaa Arenguagentuur (Valga County Development Agency) foundation said. The routes run from St. Petersburg via Võsu and Loksa to Tallinn, to Narva-Jõesuu, to Pärnu via Rakvere and Tallinn, and to Värska via Otepää and Võru.
Initially the tickets and packages that are intended for St. Petersburg holiday-makers can be bought through Russian tour organisers.
The services will be run in co-operation between the bus companies Baltic Shuttle and Ecolines as well as Russian tour organisers and the Estonian consulate. The trip from St. Petersburg to Otepää, for example, will take 7.5 hours. The first test trips will take place at the end of June.

Source: Estonian Review

25 pct more companies established in Q1

SEB Pank said that in the period from January to April, 3 209 new public or limited companies were established, 25% more than in the same period in 2009. Allan Parik, head of corporate banking division at SEB Pank, said that the areas of operation of the new companies that had opened accounts in the bank were varied, but more than before businessmen had indicated personal and other business services as their sphere of operations.
“Building and decoration, wholesale and retail sale, which have also dominated in previous periods, follow,” Parik said. He said that about 6% of the new companies that had opened their accounts in SEB had mentioned industrial production as their field of activity, in the same range with statistics for 2007.
About 3 000 public and private shareholding companies a year start operations as SEB Pank clients.

Source: Estonian Review

Tehnopol to host a world conference in 2012

At the conference of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) in Daejon, South Korea on Tuesday, members chose the Tehnopol technology park of the Estonian capital Tallinn as the venue for the IASP conference in 2012. The second choice for host of the 2012 event was the JSC Technology Park of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Tehnopol said.
The 2012 conference is expected to bring together the leaders of 800 science parks worldwide. With nearly 400 members in 70 countries, IASP is a worldwide network of science and technology parks. Tehnopol has been a member of IASP since 2003.
Tehnopol is a science and business environment for knowledge based companies located next to the Tallinn University of Technology and the Estonian IT College. More than 150 businesses are active in Tehnopol at this point.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia invests 2.9 mEUR in programme for completing higher education

The Estonian government is planning to invest 75 million kroons (EUR 2.9 mln) of resources from the European Social Fund into the TULE (Come) programme of continuing university studies for those who have left them unfinished. On Tuesday Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas endorsed the TULE action plan for 2010 and the budget of the programme until the year 2015.
“Currently, when there is little room on the labour market, is the best time to study. We decided to channel funds to support continuing studies because there are regrettably many young people who have interrupted their studies,” Lukas said.
The budget of the TULE program for 2010 is nearly three million kroons, and next year 27 million kroons. Until the year 2013 continuation of studies will be supported with more than 20 million kroons every year.
So far this year 445 applicants have continued their studies, and in the full four years there are plans to support the continuation of studies at higher education institutions for at least 800 young people. With the assistance of the TULE program it will be possible for those who have interrupted their studies in the school years 2003/2004 through 2008/2009 and have still to cover less than half of the syllabus to continue their higher education studies free of charge.
“Raising one’s qualifications is the best way to prepare oneself for a new rise in the economy and provoke it themselves. So it will be possible for everyone to get interesting and well-paid work in the near future,” Lukas said. Thirteen higher educational establishments have acceded to the TULE program.

Source: Estonian Review

Tallinn to be capital of European Law in 2012

A conference of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) will take place in Estonia in 2012, and in connection with this Tallinn will serve as the capital of European law for that year.
Julia Laffranque, president of FIDE Estonia, said that Estonia will be the first country from Eastern Europe to host the conference. The event, held every two years, brings together more than 500 lawyers from all over the world.
The conference that presumably will take place in Tallinn at the end of May or in early June 2012 is expected to focus on three topics: the protection of human rights in Europe; relations between energy, environment and competition policy in the EU; and legal aspects of the information society in Europe based on freedom, security and law.
A year earlier, at the end of May 2011, a high-level delegation made up of national FIDE presidents will come to Estonia to look at preparations for the conference.
Laffranque added that the idea to choose capitals of European law in addition to European capitals of culture and green capitals emerged in the course of preparations for the conference. Tallinn will be the first city to bear this title.

Source: Estonian Review

Industrial production increased in April

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2010 the production of industrial enterprises grew 18% compared to April of the previous year.

In April 2010 the production in manufacturing increased 19% compared to April of the previous year. When in total of 2009 compared to the previous year, the production decreased in all branches of manufacturing, then in January 2010 some branches showed recovery marks. In February and March a considerable growth could be observed in more than half of branches. In April the production exceeded the level of previous year almost in all branches. In April the export sales in manufacturing increased significantly — 36%, at the same time the demand on domestic market was still in falling trend and the domestic sales fell 12% compared to April of the previous year. The rapid growth in production was partly affected by the low reference base in 2009, while at the beginning of 2009 the decrease in production was the biggest. In April 2010, among the branches holding bigger share, the production increased in manufacturing of electronic products more than twice, in manufacturing of wood 21% and in manufacturing of metal products 13%. The production increased considerably also in some smaller branches, as in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, metals, paper, chemical, pharmaceutical and plastic products, and other transport equipment, mainly due to the increase of exports. The production of beverages, wearing apparel, leather, electrical equipment and repair and installation of machinery and equipment decreased.

In April 2010 compared to March, the seasonally adjusted industrial production increased 2.5%, the production of manufacturing grew 2%.

In April 2010 compared to April 2009, the production of electricity increased 42%, the production of heat — 2%. The increase in energy production was caused by a rising demand for energy induced by active manufacturing, as well as by replacement of imports of electricity with the own production.

The volume index and trend of production in manufacturing, January 2000 – April 2010 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: The volume index and trend of production in manufacturing, January 2000 – April 2010 (2005 = 100)

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Relations between Estonia and China good

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Deputy Speaker of the Chinese Parliament Jianmin Hua underlined that relations between Estonia and China are very good.
Ansip has been on visits to China on three occasions, twice as head of government and once as mayor of Tartu. “I have enjoyed every minute of my stays in China,” Ansip said. Jianmin Hua is in Estonia for the second time, the government spokesman told BNS.
Ansip and Hua stated that economic relations between China and Estonia have great potential, which was also confirmed by close economic relations between entrepreneurs.
Last year China was in 16th place among Estonia’s trade partners, and in2008 was in 17th place. Last year China passed Germany and became the world’s biggest exporter.
China recognised the independence of Estonia on 7 September 1991 and the two countries established diplomatic relations on 11 September that year during a visit to Tallinn of Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Tian Zengpei. In 2011, 20 years will pass since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and China. In the near future Estonia will open its consulate in Shanghai and the building of the Estonian Embassy in Beijing will begin soon.

Source: Estonian Review

Retail sales continued to decrease

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2010 compared to April of the previous year the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises decreased 9% at constant prices. Since the beginning of year the decrease in retail sales has been relatively stable compared to the same month of the previous year.

In January the retail sales of goods decreased 12% compared to the same month of the previous year, in February 11% and in March 9%.

In April, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 4.4 billion kroons. Compared to April 2009, the retail sales of goods decreased in most economic activities, except the retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores and the retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics. The low reference base in 2009 contributed to the sales growth of the retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores. The sales increase in these stores does not significantly influence the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises, because the share of this economic activity is very small, 3% in April 2010. The decrease in retail sales of goods was most influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods, where the retail sales decreased by 11% compared to April 2009. The decrease in stores selling manufacturing goods has slowed down compared to the recent month. Retail sales have significantly recovered in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials. In these stores the retail sales of goods decreased by a fifth during the year, at the same time in the previous months the decline amounted to nearly 30%. The decrease in other specialized stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, slowed down to some extent if compared to the previous months. In these stores the retail sales of goods decreased 18% compared to April 2009.

The decrease in grocery stores that had slowed down in March accelerated again in April. If in January and February the retail sales of these stores decreased 6% compared to the same month of the previous year and in March 4%, then in April the decline was 7%. The high reference base of April 2009 influenced partially the acceleration of the decrease in sales of grocery stores.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 2% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data the retail sales stayed at the same level compared to the previous month. In grocery stores the retail sales of goods decreased one percent compared to the previous month but in stores selling manufactured goods the retail sales increased one percent.

In April the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 5.4 billion kroons, out of which retail sales of goods accounted for 82%. Compared to April of the previous year, the revenues from sales decreased 3% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 2%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – April 2010 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – April 2010 (2005 = 100)

Source: Statistics Estonia

Annual report should be presented electronically

All Estonian companies have to present electronically their year 2009 annual report to Commercial Register using web page is allowed with Estonian ID-card, Mobile-ID or through Estonian Internet banks. The annual report will be presented by fulfilling given forms in the portal. Representative of the company, member of the board, has the opportunity to authorize accountant to enter the necessary data.

To use this opportunity, Commercial Register has to know the representative’s local identification code.

Member of the board can authorize only someone, who has Estonian identification code, to enter the data. Besides entering data, authorized person can present the signed annual report to Commercial Register. Representative can also give the rights to their Auditor, so an auditor can follow the making of the report, during the process or after signing.

After annual report is ready all signatory persons must sign it. Signatures can be given digitally or on paper. Digital signature must be used in case if all signatory persons have ID-cards, the rights to use digital signature and Commercial Register has their identification code. In case if one signatory person doesn’t have an opportunity to give digital signature, the report must be printed out from the portal, signed on the paper and then it must be uploaded into the portal as PDF-file.

After signing also the Auditor will include his/her opinion. If the report is signed digitally, the auditor will include opinion through the portal, if it is signed on the paper and uploaded as PDF file it might already include auditor’s opinion, but Auditor can also include his/her opinion through the portal. 

After the report is signed and auditor’s opinion is included, companies can make profit distribution proposal or loss coverage proposal and then the report is ready to be submitted to the Commercial Register.

Please read further information about authorization process, especially if you are a Member of the Board and you have Estonian ID code.

Read more information from the accounting firm LEINONEN website: E-annual report

Bank Robbery and The Temptation of St. Tony were last year’s most popular Estonian films

Estonian movie

“Bank Robbery” (“Pangarööv”)

According to Statistics Estonia, during the last decade on an average four full-length feature films per year were made in Estonia, but in 2009 the corresponding number was seven. This is also the record after the restoration of independence in Estonia.

In 2009, a total of 86 films were made in Estonia — 25 full-length films and 61 short films. Last year the total number of produced films was nearly a half of the average of the last decade. 8 of 25 full-length films were feature films (of which 7 were movies) and 17 full-length documentaries. The total number of full-length films increased by three films compared to the previous year. The number of short films has considerably decreased during last years.

According to the data of Estonian Film Foundation, the most popular premiered films in Estonia were “Bank Robbery” (“Pangarööv”) and “The Temptation of St. Tony” (“Püha Tõnu kiusamine”), correspondingly with the audience of 6,500 and 5,800 persons. Although these numbers are smaller than these of the previous popular movies in Estonia, it should be mentioned that both these films were released at the end of 2009 and gathered their audience during a couple of months. Most popular documentaries were “Disco and the Atomic War” (“Disko ja tuumasõda”), and “Betrayer of the State” (“Riigireetur”) released at the end of the year, which gathered the audience of over 4,000 and 1,300 persons, respectively.

In 2009, the cinema attendance was 1.7 million in total, of which 28,000 was the attendance of domestic films. The gross box income of cinemas was 117 million kroons, of which Estonian films earned 1.2 million kroons.

In total 313 films were screened in Estonia in 2009, of which 8% (24 films) were domestic production. On an average 4% of films screened in cinemas were of domestic origin during the last decade.

In 2009 the average price of a cinema ticket was 68 kroons. The prices of cinema tickets have remained relatively stable during the last five years.

A full-length feature film is at least 60 minutes long, produced for showing in the cinema. In addition there are also full-length video films which must be at least 52 minutes long.

Short film — a movie of duration up to 59 minutes or a video film of duration up to 51 minutes.

Cinema attendance per 100 inhabitants, 1999–2009

Diagram: Cinema attendance per 100 inhabitants, 1999–2009

Source: Statistics Estonia