TALLINN – In 2021, defense investments and expenditures by the Estonian Ministry of Defense totaled 328 million euros, of which 175.5 million euros, or 53.5 percent, made its way back to the Estonian economy.
In total, Estonia's defense budget for 2021 amounted to 645 million euros. Of the 175.5 million euros that reached the Estonian economy, 109.2 million euros was spent on investments and procuring equipment, and 66.3 million euros on operating costs. In total, services and goods were purchased from 2,231 Estonian companies and institutions.
"It is very important that more than half of the money we spend reaches our companies and our economy. In this way, we are supporting the defense industry as well as the local economy," said Tiina Uudeberg, deputy secretary general for defense planning at the Ministry of Defense.
Personal equipment was purchased entirely from domestic suppliers in 2021. A total of 4.7 million euros was spent on the procurement of helmets, helmet covers, protective suits, boots and various uniform elements for regular and field uniforms, pockets and belts.
In terms of the total volume of infrastructure construction and real estate expenditure, 97 percent, or 53.7 million euros, was carried out by local companies. In 2021, the following important facilities and sites were completed: the sports facilities of the defense forces' campuses and the universal halls built in Paldiski, Amari, Tartu, Voru, and the Naval Base in Tallinn; the reconstructed old barracks and new barracks in Paldiski; the barracks for active-duty personnel in Tapa; shelters and storage facilities for equipment; the Keretu shooting range; and Vilbusuu Road at Nursipalu.
A total of 90 percent, equaling 21.9 million euros, of vehicle maintenance and repair services were commissioned from local companies. Estonian companies rebuild, maintain and repair CV90 armored vehicles, SISU armored personnel carriers, and wheeled vehicles.
Also, 87 percent of catering services and food products were ordered from local suppliers. For example, the food served in the defense forces' canteens is mostly made from local produce provided by Estonian companies.
There are facilities and real estate of agencies across Estonia that fall under the area of government of the Ministry of Defense. The work these properties require goes mainly to local companies and people, Uudeberg added.
Over the last three years, defense investments and economic expenditures amounted to just over one billion euros. Of this amount, 562.5 million euros has returned to the Estonian economy. A significant share of Estonia's defense spending will continue to reach Estonian companies in the coming years, spokespeople for the ministry said.