Founders of Skype buy Ammende Villa

Estonian businessman Rein Kilk has agreed to sell the building title to Ammende Villa in Pärnu to Kv3, an investment company that belongs to founders of Skype, writes Äripäev.

On Friday, the Pärnu city government approved the transfer of the building title to Kv3 OÜ. By a former decision, Kilk had a building title for Ammende Villa until 2045. Commenting the deal, Toomas Kivimägi, mayor of Pärnu, said that it seems that Kilk needed money for other investments.

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Robbie Williams makes a concert video in Estonia

Britain’s most successful solo act Robbie Williams will have a prominent part in Estonia’s new promotion campaign that is financed by Enterprise Estonia with money from the European Regional Development Fund, writes Postimees.

The concert to be performed at the Song Festival Ground on August 20, when Estonia marks the Day of Restoration of Independence, will be the penultimate stop on Robbie Williams’ “Take The Crown Stadium Tour 2013” and it will be filmed live for a production to be titled “Meet me in Tallinn.”

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The growth in retail sales accelerated

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2013 compared to May of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 7% at constant prices. In April the retail sales increased 5% compared to the same month of the previous year, while in May the retail sales growth accelerated to some extent.

In May 2013, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 405.6 million euros, which was 315 euros per inhabitant. The retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 11% compared to May 2012. The sales increased in all economic activities. The increase was the biggest in the retail sales of second-hand stores and non-store retail sales (stalls, markets, direct sale), where retail sales increased by more than a half (53%) compared to May of the previous year. 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 – 1.8% in May 2013. In May, a higher than average increase in retail sales occurred in the stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (17% growth), in retail sales via mail order or the Internet (10% growth), in other specialized stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, flowers, plants etc. (10% growth), and in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear (8% growth).

The retail sales in grocery stores, which showed a 1% fall in April, took an upturn again in May and increased 3% compared to May of the previous year. The growth in the retail sales of these stores was partly influenced by the discount sales campaigns that took place in May.

The retail sales of automotive fuel increased 10% at constant prices compared to May 2012. The growth was influenced by the price decrease of automotive fuel. In May this year, automotive fuel was 5.6% cheaper than a year earlier.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises in May increased by a tenth at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the retail sales increased 3%. During the five months (January–May) of 2013, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 5% at constant prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In May the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 486.3 million euros, with the retail sales of goods accounting for 83% of this amount. Compared to May 2012, the turnover increased by 7% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 10%.

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Estonia invests 123 mEUR in tourism sector in 2014-2020

On Thursday the government endorsed the Estonian National Tourism Development Plan 2014-2020, according to which the state will invest an estimated 123 million euros in the tourism sector with the aim of boosting its volume by almost one-third by 2020.

The development plan supports both private and public sector investments as a result of which export revenue from tourism services would grow to 1.6 billion euros by 2030, marking an increase of nearly 30% over 2012, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

The number of overnight stays by foreign tourists at Estonia’s accommodation establishments is estimated to grow to 5 million and of stays by domestic tourists to 2.1 million, numbers that are respectively 31% and 23% bigger than in 2012.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts said the tourism sector has become ever stronger in recent years and it maintained very good health also during the difficult years. He said that where in the previous seven years Estonia focused primarily on the construction and renovation of tourism facilities, in the new period the whole existing infrastructure must be made to work as effectively as possible. In the new period smarter use of the investments already made will be in the focus, the ministry said.

In order to improve the Estonian tourism sector’s position in international competition, the government will go on promoting awareness of Estonia as a travel destination in neighbouring countries and elsewhere.

Under the previous development plan about 200 million euros was channeled into the tourism sector in 2007–2013.

Together with indirect impact tourism is seen to contribute 6.3% of Estonia’s gross domestic product. The sector also accounts for a significant share of the export of services, where it made up 29% of total volume in 2012, and in overall exports, where it accounted for 7.4%.

Activities under the development plan are financed from EU structural funds and the Estonian state budget.

Source: Estonian Review