Tallegg exports rose five times

The Estonian poultry company AS Tallegg exported 207 tons of broiler meat to Finland, Sweden and Denmark in the first six months of this year, almost five times more than the 42 tons exported during the same period a year ago. The company is planning to boost the share of exports from the current 25% of its total output to 40% by 2013.
“There’s a lot of demand in Nordic countries for high quality broiler fillet and this is a very important and growing export channel for Tallegg. Also strategically important for Tallegg is the sale of chicken wings to Asia, in which direction we are hoping the range of our exports to expand soon,” Tallegg CEO Teet Soorm said.
He said the company was seeking to establish a foothold on more and more foreign markets as on the small Estonian domestic market growth opportunities remain limited. However, Estonia remains the primary market for Tallegg and the entire product development is done with Estonian needs in mind, Soorm added. “We also consider Latvia as almost our home market – we sell a broad range of products there in the amount of more than 200 tons a month,” said Soorm.
Tallegg is part of the HKScan group. In 2009, the company raised 8.6 million broilers, produced 75 million eggs and sold 18.2 million kilograms of poultry meat and products.
Sales in 2009 totalled 688 million kroons and the company employs 470 people.

Source: Estonian Review

Italian carrier to operate flights between Tallinn, Forli this summer

The Italian carrier WindJet is scheduled to operate direct flights between Tallinn and Forli, Italy, from 30 June until the end of summer, the daily Eesti Päevaleht reported. The once-weekly flights will depart from Forli at 10 a.m. and from Tallinn at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. The flight takes three hours.
The Swedish representative of the Italian tourism agency has said the flights would be operated until 1 September.
According to WindJet’s website, a one-way trip costs around 100 euros and a return trip 205 euros including fees. Estonian Air operates regular flights to two Italian destinations during the summer, flying to Milan twice a week and to Rome once a week.

Source: Estonian Review

British shirt-maker adopts Estonian robotic mannequin

OU Massi Miliano, which markets a robotic mannequin under the Fits.me trade name, recently started co-operation with the British shirt-maker Hawes & Curtis, launching at the end of April the world’s first virtual fitting room on the firm’s website.
Online sales of Hawes & Curtis amount to the equivalent of 100 million kroons (EUR 6.4 mln) annually and the Estonian company’s task is to increase this figure, Massi Miliano head Heikki Haldre said. According to Haldre, the first week’s statistics show that if usually an average of two out of a hundred visitors of an online shop make a purchase, the number rose to eight after the adoption of Fits.me. “Furthermore, we obtained the measurements of close to 10 000 persons in a week,” he said.
Fits.me hopes to launch co-operation with several more companies within a couple of months, Haldre said. “It’s too soon to disclose any names,” he added.
The Fits.me robotic mannequin was developed by Alvo Aabloo, professor of polymeric materials technology at the Technology Institute of Tartu University, and professor Maarja Kruusmaa at the biorobotics centre of the Tallinn University of Technology. The Estonian Development Fund has invested 10 million kroons in the company. Other investors were business angels and Webmedia. The investors acquired a minority stake in Massi Miliano.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonian Development Fund invests in 3D models web library

GrabCAD, creator of a web library of 3D models and service environment for engineers, has attracted four million kroons (EUR 0.26 mln) in venture capital investment from the Estonian Development Fund and Astrec Baltic.
The telecommunications technology company Astrec Baltic, owner of the Motors24.ee portal, is investing in GrabCAD on the same terms and conditions as the Development Fund, the fund said.
The founders of the GrabCAD environment are Hardi Meybaum and Indrek Narusk. Meybaum said real orders over one year have proven that it is possible to provide CAD services via the Internet.
Co-operation agreements have already been concluded with Estonian production and engineering companies and talks are underway with Estonian and Scandinavian technical universities who will become the first users of and contributors to the next development phase, he added.
GrabCAD aims to spread across the world the idea of reusing 3D CAD models. Engineers spend much of their working time on designing products or components that already exist somewhere else in the form of drawings. Making such drawings available to others allows engineers to dedicate more time to creating unique products and components. GrabCAD’s goal is to become in three years the world’s leading web environment for CAD engineers.

Source: Estonian Review

Visa-free travel to Brazil

At his meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorimi in Rio de Janeiro, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed matters related to visa freedom between the European Union and Brazil, as well as Estonia-Brazil relations and co-operation opportunities. Foreign Minister Paet expressed hope that the European Union-Brazil visa freedom agreement would be signed presently at the EU-Brazil summit, and as a result Estonian citizens would be able to visit Brazil without a visa. Paet stated that trying to get visa-free travel to Brazil for Estonian citizens has taken quite a bit of time due to Estonia’s accession to the Schengen zone. “For Estonia, this is the final chapter of reciprocal visa discussions. This means that after the agreement comes into effect, Estonia has achieved visa freedom with all the nations that have reciprocal visa freedom with all the other European Union nations,” said Paet.

While talking about Estonia-Brazil economic relations, Foreign Minister Paet said that there is room for growth in business ties, through Brazil is already Estonia’s most important trade partner among Latin American countries. “Estonian entrepreneurs are interested in closer contacts with their Brazilian colleagues in the oil shale energy, information and communication technology, and tourism sectors. Brazil has also expressed interest in co-operation between ports and in Estonian building materials,” added Foreign Minister Paet.
Paet stated that Estonia is also interested in concluding agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and the protection of investments with Brazil. The investments of Estonian entrepreneurs in Brazil total about 12.6 million kroons (805 205 EUR).

Estonia and Brazil are co-operating to develop the public sector and IT solutions in Haiti. “The Haitian government is working to restore the country and the international community, including Estonia and Brazil, is supporting Haiti in building up a contemporary society,” Paet said. Foreign Minister Paet noted that the Brazilian foreign minister will be able to become thoroughly acquainted with Estonia’s IT solutions and discuss co-operation opportunities during his visit to Estonia in June. Brazil has also made a proposal to Estonia to co-operate in sharing IT-related experiences with some African countries.

On the topic of EU-Brazil relations, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Brazil is one of the EU’s most important partners in Latin America in regards to both political relations and economic co-operation. At a meeting with representatives of the crude oil company Petrobras, energy-related co-operation opportunities with Petrobras in Brazil and internationally were discussed. Estonia is looking for co-operation partners to implement its technology and co-operate in establishing the use of oil shale deposits in other nations. Brazil is the only other nation in the world after Estonia and China that produces shale oil.

Estonia has more experience in mining and processing oil shale than any other country in the world. More than 5% of the world’s oil shale reserves are found in Brazil. The Brazilian firm Petrobras is the fifth-largest crude oil company in the world and it also works in the area of oil shale production.

Source: Estonian Review

Trigon Capital opens the Baltics’ largest shopping mall in 2012

Businessman Joakim Helenius is hopeful that Gate Tallinn, a 250,000 square metre shopping centre that is being developed by his investment bank Trigon Capital, will open doors in the spring 2012.

“Building can start only after access roads are ready. The objective is to start construction of the key crossing in the Tallinn circular road this autumn, said Helenius, adding that the company plans to launch construction of the shopping centre next year and open the first phase in the spring 2012.

Gate Tallinn is a project to build a vast 250,000 square metre shopping centre in the outskirts of Tallinn next to Via Baltica.

“It will be 5 or 6 times more floor space than the present Ülemiste Centre, the largest shopping mall in Tallinn. Gate Tallinn will be the largest retail centre project in the whole Baltic states and also perhaps Finland,” said the investor.

“It will be an outlet concept with a varity of different stores and brands and where products are sold 30 to 60% cheaper than in regular stores,” said Helenius.

Read more from BBN

Latvian state power company executives arrested

Law enforcement authorities in Latvia confirmed Wednesday they had arrested five senior executives of the state-owned power utility Latvenergo following a raid on the company’s headquarters, according to Deutsche Press Agentur.

Among those arrested was Latvenergo CEO Karlis Mikelsons, one of the highest-profile businessmen in the Baltic states.

Officers of Latvia’s KNAB anti-corruption force searched the offices of the national electricity company Latvenergo on Tuesday.

The exact reason for the raid has not been made public but a spokesman for the Economics Ministry, which is Latvenergo’s legal owner, said the investigation concerned widespread misuse of public office, bribery and money laundering dating back four years.

The timing of the raid may also be significant, coming when KNAB is itself under fire for failing to get to grips with Latvia’s endemic high-level corruption.

Read more from BBN