In 2014, the export of goods totalled 12.1 billion euros and total imports amounted to 13.7 billion euros. According to Statistics Estonia, in 2014 the exports of goods at current prices decreased by 2% and imports by 1% compared to 2013. Estonian foreign trade is mainly based on strong economic ties with Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, Russia and Lithuania, as well as with other countries.
The main countries of destination were Sweden (18% of Estonia’s total exports), Finland (16.2%) and Latvia (10.7%) and the main countries of consignment were Finland (15.3% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11.5%) and Sweden (10.7%). The share of EU countries accounted for 72% of total exports in 2014.
The main export goods are machinery and equipment (29.1%), mineral products (11.1%), agricultural products and food preparations (10.1%), wood and products thereof (9.2%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (7.5%).
Bilateral economic relations with India have developed and grown. However, there is still room for development in increasing exports by Estonian companies to India as well as in increasing the share of Indian investments in Estonia.
Trade in goods between Estonia and India from 2005-2013 (million EUR)
Source: Statistical Office of Estonia
One major reason for establishing an Estonian Embassy in India was the development of economic relations.
In developing co-operation, both sides feel that the economic sectors with the most potential are information technology, since both countries are skilled in the sector and there are many opportunities for co-operation, and bio- and environmental technology, in which India is also a global leader.
India’s importance as a trade partner to Estonia has grown year by year, but considering the size of India, trade volumes are still quite modest.
In 2012 India ranked as Estonia’s 32nd trade partner with a turnover of 86.4 million euros (0.3% of Estonia’s total trade). It ranked 28th among export partners (0.4% of exports) with a total of 54.5 million euros and was 34th among import partners (0.2% of imports) with a total of 31.9 million euros. In the first quarter of 2013 India was Estonia’s 34th trade partner with a turnover of 14.3 million euros (0.2% of total trade). During the same period Estonia’s exports totalled 8.1 million euros (0.3% of exports) and imports from India totalled 6.2 million euros (0.2% of imports).
Export-Import have grown year by year, but considering the size of India, trade volumes are still quite modest.
Main export articles in 2012:
- Machinery and equipment – 42.6%
- Pulp and paper – 25%
- Metals and metal products – 18.6%
- Medical instruments and measuring apparatuses – 4.4%
- Leather and fur – 4.2%
Main import articles in 2012:
- Machinery and equipment – 45.3%
- Metals and metal products – 16.2%
- Textiles and textile products – 9.2%
- Chemical products – 8.8%
- Plant products – 5.2%
According to Bank of Estonia data, as of 31 December 2012 India has invested 234 thousand euros in Estonia. The main sectors for investments are the manufacturing industry; construction; accommodation and catering; real estate; professional, research and technical activity; and financial and insurance activity.
Estonia’s direct investments in India as of the same date totalled 265 thousand euros, mainly in the financial and insurance activity and real estate sectors.
The Estonian and Indian ICT leaders communicate closely at the level of policy and strategies, and learnt good experiences and practices from each other. The European Commission has declared Estonia one of the most digitally developed country in the EU (The Digital Economy and Society Index 2017 – DESI). Digital welfare, i.e., the extensive digitalisation of health, welfare and education, has been at the centre of the Estonian e-state strategy. Estonia’s strengths are in the areas of digitalisation of public services, cyber defence and security. Attention and readiness to develop life via digitalisation are a common feature of Estonia and India.