Estonian govt's experts' forum: Crisis providing opportunities for changes in economy

  • 2020-08-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The experts' forum advising the Estonian government's economic development committee said that the core objective of the plan for economic recovery amid the coronavirus fallout should be finding opportunities for achieving long-term structural changes in the economy through short-term measures.

Having held individual meetings with Prime Minister Juri Ratas, the experts' forum convened to review proposals aimed at boosting the economy with a view to relaying them to the government's economic development committee before the state budget deliberations in the fall, government spokespeople said.

The experts believe that the situation where a share of resources in the economy has become vacant must be put to good use and, if possible, their transition to activities with higher added value should be fostered. 

The experts' forum found that support for businesses must focus on forward-looking investments involving a digital, green and innovative turnaround. The green turnaround, in particular, must be realized as a business opportunity, they said.

The experts also deemed it necessary in the present situation to pay particular attention to the state's crisis preparedness. 

"I am very grateful to members of the experts' forum for substantial and diverse discussions covering a large variety of areas. According to the latest indicators, Estonia's economy has better recovered from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus than forecast during the drafting of the supplementary budget. This provides us with a better starting position for making targeted investments in the sectors that need it the most," the prime minister said. 

Ratas added that the government's economic development committee will convene to discuss proposals by the experts' forum in mid-August, ahead of the state budget deliberations.

"Proposals by the experts' forum are valuable input for next year's state budget deliberations and also in the context of the European economic recovery plan, the purpose of which is to help member states bring the European economy out of the crisis. During the next budgetary period, Estonia will be provided with over 1.5 billion euros of support from the recovery plan in addition to the main budget," Ratas said.

The premier explained that resources from the economic recovery plan can be used for projects approved within the next three years during the coming six years. 

"We need to use these support measures in a thought-out and forward-looking way to ensure they also foster the growth of our economy and improve the standard of living for our people in the years to come," Ratas noted.

The experts' forum consists of Raul Eamets, Ardo Hansson, Alo Ivask, Vaino Kaldoja, Erki Kilu, Arno Kutt, Toomas Luman, Kadri Mannasoo, Piret Murk-Dubout, Peep Peterson, Jaan Pillesaar, Indrek Neivelt, Kai Realo, Ivo Suursoo and Kadri Ukrainski. The forum is led by Prime Minister Juri Ratas.

The activities of the experts' forum are coordinated by the strategy unit of the Government Office.