TALLINN - As a result of joint effort by the state and businesses, the Estonian defense industry has grown into an economic sector with great export value and a revenue of over 200 million euros, according to CEO of the Estonian Defense Industry Association Tarmo Ranisoo.
"The ambition in the new defense industry policy, approved by the government in October, aims even higher and wants to grow threefold by the end of the decade as well as exceed the 600-million-euro mark with 70 percent, or over 400 million euros, coming from export," Ranisoo said in a press release, adding that it is a completely realistic target.
The CEO of the Defense Industry Association said that while just some ten years ago, critics wanted to know why Estonia as a small state needs its own defense industry, in the past ten years, Estonia's defense industry has grown into a sector consisting of over 100 enterprises, and in the past few years alone, some 20 new active businesses have been created that contribute to Estonia's national defense.
Ranisoo added that there are ample growth opportunities for defense industry companies, considering the current security situation and needs.
Chairman of the supervisory board of the Defense Industry Association Taavi Veskimagi said that in addition to business-based growth, a growing asset in the defense industry is consortiums, or joint action by businesses, which create a strong basis for the Estonian defense industry's success in Europe when it comes to creating technologically innovative defense capability.
"Common target-based development and sharing of knowledge and skills to create greater added value is a good prerequisite for participating in large European-wide procurements as well as ensuring the sector's overall success and sustainability. It has been proven by successful joint procurements in the EU and leadership of major projects as well as by the contribution of the consortium created for the development of Estonian 6x6 armored vehicles, and also by cooperation by businesses offering surveillance solutions on the eastern border, in which solutions that are needed at an international level are created by pooling competences," Veskimagi said.
Veskimagi added that while the sector started with a handful of businesses offering defense industry products and services, now the sector's growth has gained impetus both at a domestic as well as international level.
The annual conference of the Estonian Defense Industry Association is scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening and will summarize the past year in the Estonian defense and security industry.