70% of manufactured products was sold on external market

According to Statistics Estonia, in June 2011 the production of industrial enterprises grew 24% compared to June of the previous year. If at the beginning of the year the production grew around 30%, then in May and June the growth of industrial production slightly slowed down compared to the same month of the previous year.

In June 2011, the production of manufacturing increased by over a quarter compared to June 2010. Export sales influenced the growth in production the most – 70% of the whole production of manufacturing was sold on the external market. The manufacturing production sold on the external market grew 40%, the domestic sales increased 16% compared to June of the previous year.

In June, the production exceeded the volume of the same month of the previous year in most branches of industry. Manufacturing of electronic products, which increased by three times compared to June of the previous year, influenced the growth in production the most. The branches holding bigger shares were also the manufacturing of wood, food and metal products where the production grew 13%, 4% and 8%, respectively. With respect to the branches of manufacturing holding smaller shares, the production increased considerably in the manufacturing of machinery and equipment mainly due to the increase in exports.

In June 2011 compared to May, the seasonally adjusted industrial production increased 2%, in manufacturing the production remained on the level of the previous month.

In June 2011 compared to June 2010, the production of electricity increased 7% and the production of heat decreased 5%.

Trends of production in branches of industry, January 2002 – June 2011 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Trends of production in branches of industry, January 2002 – June 2011 (2005 = 100)

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Statistical Yearbook describes the life of Estonia in figures

Statistics Estonia presents today, on 29 July, the publication “Eesti statistika aastaraamat. 2011. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia“, which gives an overview of the life in Estonia last year in comparison with earlier years and other European Union countries.

The Yearbook integrates the annual overviews of environment, population, social and economic fields into one volume, whereas at the presentation Statistics Estonia focuses on two subjects.

The economic crisis caused a decline in people’s incomes. At the same time, prices started to increase in 2010. Therefore, a change in the household living niveau over the last decade and changes in the consumer price index in Estonia and the Baltic Republics are in the centre of interest at this year’s presentation of the Yearbook.

“Population’s quality of life and the change thereof can be measured by observing households’ own assessments of their economic situation compared to the time a year ago,” explained Ms Piret Tikva, Head of Social Surveys Service, who is going to give an overview of households’ living niveau at the presentation. Ms Tikva noted that, during 2004–2007 i.e. the years preceding the last economic crisis, households’ assessments of their economic situation became better year by year, and in 2007, 26% of households regarded their economic situation to be better than a year ago. But in 2010, such households accounted for 7% only. She also added that, at the same time, the proportion of those who were of the opinion that their economic situation had turned worse rather was considerably bigger compared to the period 2004–2007. “In 2007 such households accounted for 12%, but in 2010 already 46%,” clarified Ms Tikva.

At the presentation, Ms Viktoria Trasanov, Head of Price and Wages Statistics Department, is going to give an overview of the changes in consumer price index in the Baltic Republics. “During the last half a year, the fastest price increase in the Baltic Republics was recorded in Latvia,” marked Ms Trasanov and continued by specifying that, in June 2011 compared to December of the previous year, the change in consumer price index was 4.1% in Latvia, 3.2% in Lithuania and 2.2% in Estonia. According to Ms Trasanov, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages have attracted the greatest attention lately while talking about the change in consumer price index. During the referred period, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased the most in Lithuania and Latvia (6.6% and 6.3%, respectively). In Estonia the price rise of food and alcoholic beverages was 4.3%. “In Latvia and Lithuania, besides food, the biggest price rises were registered in transport and housing. But in Estonia, the prices of hotels, cafés and restaurants as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased the most,” she explained.

Source: Statistics Estonia

In June the growth of retail sales continued

According to Statistics Estonia, in June 2011 compared to June of the previous year the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 4% at constant prices.

Compared to the same month of the previous year, the retail sales of retail trade enterprises started to grow again in autumn 2010, after two and a half years’ decline. In January this year the retail sales slightly fell but in February it turned to a rise again and the growth continued also in March, April, May and June.

In June, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 344 million euros (5.4 billion kroons). The increase in retail sales of goods was continually influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods, but compared to previous months the retail sales growth rate slowed down in these stores. If in March those enterprises’ retail sales increased 13% during the year, in April 9% and in May 7%, then in June the increase was 6%. The sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics were smaller than in June of the previous year. With regard to this economic activity, one of the reasons for the fall in the sales was also higher reference base of the previous year. In June, the retail sales in non-specialized stores with industrial goods predominating increased the most, where the retail sales increased 13% during the year. Stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear and other specialized stores were also successful. In these stores the retail sales increased 10%.

The retail sales in grocery stores remarkably recovered in June and turned from decrease to increase again. The retail sales of these stores increased 3% compared to June 2010. The growth in retail sales of these stores was influenced by the hot weather in the first half on June and Midsummer Day that caused a rise in sales of food and beverages of summer season.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 4% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data the retail sales increased 2%. During the six months of 2011 (January-June), the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 3% at constant prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In June the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 422 million euros (6.6 billion kroons), out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 81%. Compared to June 2010, the revenues from sales increased 10% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 3%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – June 2011 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – June 2011 (2005 = 100)


Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonia had greatest growth in industrial orders

New industrial orders grew by 3.6% in the euro zone in May compared with April and 2.5% in the European Union as a whole; the best monthly and annual growth in industrial orders was in Estonia, Eurostat reported on Friday.

On year the industrial orders in the euro zone grew 15.5% in May and 14.3% in the European Union as a whole.

In Estonia industrial orders increased 14.2% in May compared with April. At the same time, they contracted 10.7% in Latvia and 1.3% in Lithuania.

The annual growth in industrial orders in May was 62.1% in Estonia. In Lithuania they grew 22.6% and contracted 8.9% in Latvia.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia and the US need each other

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with American Vice President Joseph Biden in Washington today. At the meeting, which was held in the White House, Biden and Ansip agreed that their countries enjoy excellent relations as allies. Prime Minister Ansip expressed his gratitude to the United States for its years of support during the Soviet occupation, as expressed by the fact that the annexation never received US recognition, and its continued support since Estonia regained independence and started down the path of reform.

“We too are now trying to help countries where independence is something they can still only dream about,” said Ansip. Vice President Biden praised Estonia’s willingness to share its experience and assist other reform-minded countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Biden said that Estonia’s success in the twenty years since it regained its independence has been remarkable. “The fact that you’ve been such a success story in moving forward sends out a strong signal,” he said. “And that success encourages us here in the United States to continue supporting those countries that have set their sights on democratic reform.”

Discussing defence and security issues, Biden and Ansip highlighted the co-operation between their two countries in these fields and their wish to see it continue. Ansip said that Estonia’s security had never been as well ensured as it currently was, adding that the United States plays a major role in that. “The part you play in guaranteeing our security is impossible to overstate,” the prime minister said. “In less than twenty years we’ve achieved a lot together – Estonia is free of Russian forces, and we now belong to NATO. But now we’ve got to start thinking about how to take our co-operation to the next level in future.” He confirmed that Estonia has kept its promises: despite the economically difficult times, the state had not reduced its proportion of spending on defence.

“Security is something we all have to think about and all take responsibility for, and it’s not something you compromise on,” Ansip said. “We’ve made a promise to boost our defence spending to 2% of GDP, and we’ll fulfil that in 2012.” Vice President Biden also expressed his gratitude for Estonia’s peace-keeping contribution in Afghanistan and on other international missions. “Estonia is a much-valued partner to the United States,” he said, adding that as an ally in NATO, Estonia will never have to worry about the implementation of Article 5, which covers all member states.

Prime Minister Ansip, who made the two-day visit to Washington upon the invitation of Vice President Biden, attended a number of other high-level meetings on the trip. In addition to the vice president, he also held talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott, International Monetary Fund deputy director John Lipsky, and representatives of American Jewish organisations.

Prime Minister Ansip also met with a group of local business leaders, showcasing the principles of Estonia’s economic and tax policies and its e-government system and describing the business environment in the country generally.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonia established diplomatic relations with Malawi

On Tuesday, 19 July, Estonian Ambassador to the UN Margus Kolga and Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to the UN Brian G. Bowler established diplomatic ties between Estonia and Malawi.

In their conversation after establishing diplomatic relations, ambassadors Kolga and Bowler discussed the economic situations in Estonia and Malawi and opportunities for the countries to co-operate within the UN.

Malawian Ambassador Bowler gave an overview of the situation in his country. According to the ambassador, Malawi’s economy is growing 7.6% per year and in the past seven years average life expectancy has risen by ten years. Bowler invited representatives of Estonia to visit Malawi and become acquainted with the country.

Ambassador Bowler also expressed hope that Estonians’ interest in Malawi as a tourism destination would grow. He introduced his country as a travel destination with picturesque mountains and lakes that is popular as a honeymoon destination.

Malawi is a landlocked country in south-east Africa that is bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The country’s surface area is 188 480 km2 and the capital is Lilongwe. Malawi is a nation of close to 16 million people where the official languages are English and Chichewa. Malawi declared its independence in 1964.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonian foreign ministry asks Austria for explanation

Today the Estonian Foreign Ministry invited Austrian Ambassador Angelika Saupe-Berchtold to the Foreign Ministry in Tallinn and asked for an explanation as to why Austrian law enforcement authorities decided to release Mikhail Golovatov, a former KGB officer suspected in killings that took place on 13 January 1991, after he was detained in Vienna.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that releasing Golovatov after less than 24 hours was incomprehensible and an unpleasant surprise. “We would like an explanation regarding the circumstances under which he was released so quickly. The important thing is for the international arrest warrant issued by Lithuania to remain in effect so that this person can be detained and an investigation can be carried out,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “If there is a strong and justified suspicion that he carried out these crimes in Vilnius in 1991, as a result of which 14 people were killed, then he must be brought before a court,” Paet added.

Paet said that the Austrian ambassador justified the release of Golovatov through fine legal points, but Estonia would still like additional and detailed explanations as to what arguments were more compelling than the need to get a suspect wanted for serious crimes into a courtroom. “Killing demonstrators who were standing up for the independence of their country in Vilnius was a serious crime, and helping to bring a suspect in this crime before a court would be a logical move for any democratic society,” he added.

The Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian foreign ministers Urmas Paet, Audronius Ažubalis ja Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis yesterday sent a joint letter to EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and the foreign ministers of the other European Union member states. In the joint letter they express their disappointment and their failure to understand why this has happened.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

HIV-positives and restricting laws

According to UN, many countries, not including Estonia, have laws that restrict HIV-positives entering the borders even nowadays. Albeit it being the 21st century, in 22 countries HIV-positives are being treated like biological terrorists who spread a deadly disease and will be sent back home, mediates Aktuaalne Kaamera.

Nelli Kalikova, head of managing board of AIDS Prevention Centre has commented on the fact that this kind of way of thinking is a rudimentary mentality of the times when HIV and AIDS were thought to intrude the countries and take over.

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Skype and Playtech – salaries in comparison

The salary rate per person in Skype Technologies increased, contrary to those of Playtech Estonia, states the annual report.

In 2010, Skype paid its 377 employees altogether 329,2 million kroons (21,04 million euros), making the average wage per worker 72 773 kroons (4651 euros) in a month. The year before, the average was 5100 kroons (326 euros) less.

Playtech spent 191,9 million kroons (12,26 million euros) on its 408 full-time employees, making the average wage per face 39 188 kroons (2505 euros) a month. In 2009, the number was 1000 kroons (64 euros) more per worker. The annual report did not specify the number of full-time and part-time employees.

Read more from BBN

Ryanair to start a Tallinn- Manchester route next spring

The Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair will launch flights from the Estonian capital Tallinn to Manchester next April. The company said it will operate two weekly flights between Tallinn and Manchester and the sale of tickets will begin on Wednesday. Fares start at 43.99 euros.

The airline will open its base in Manchester in October.

Ryanair at present flies out of Tallinn to Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Oslo, Dublin, Milan, London, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Bremen, and Barcelona.

Source: Estonian Review