Forbes magazine has listed Estonia as the 13th best country for doing business, saying that the country’s successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda and sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt.
According to Forbes, Estonia has a “modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region”.
“The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden and Germany,” the magazine says.
The country’s GDP growth is expected to be about 2.2% in 2016, according to the magazine.
However, Forbes notes that Estonia is challenged by a shortage of labour, both skilled and unskilled, although the government has amended its immigration law to allow easier hiring of highly qualified foreign workers.
Estonia is ranked one spot behind Singapore, and one spot ahead of Luxembourg.
The best country for business, according to Forbes, is Sweden, followd by New Zealand and Hong Kong. Ireland ranks fourth, the UK fifth, Denmark sixth and the Netherlands seventh.
Estonia’s northern neighbour Finland ranks eighth, Norway ninth, Canada tenth, and Australia eleventh.
Lithuania is ranked 15th and Latvia 25th.
Cover: Tallinn skyline (photo by Gen Vagula.)