Economic Relations

Economic relations between Estonia and Finland are very close and active. Finland has long been Estonia’s most important economic and trade partner. All the major economic agreements have been concluded between Estonia and Finland, including agreements for the facilitation and protection of investments, economic co-operation and aid, avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion, an aviation agreement, and an agreement for reciprocal customs aid and road transport. As of May 1, 2004 Estonia and Finland’s bilateral economic relations are regulated by the rules of the EU internal market.

TRADE

As of 2017, Finland continues to be Estonia’s largest trading partner (15% of all trade). Finland is our main import partner (14%) and the main export partner (16%). The main export articles to Finland are machinery and equipment (29%), metals and metal products (14%), other industrial products (11%) and wood and wood products (7-8%). The main articles imported from Finland to Estonia are machinery and equipment (21%), mineral products (12%), metals and metal products (12%) The balance of trade is slightly positive for Estonia.

Estonian-Finnish trade 2012-2017 (in millions EUR)

Year Export  % of total export Import % of total import Balance
2012 1 817.8 14.5 2 105.7 14.9 -287.9
2013 1 984.2 16.1 2 087.3 15.0 -103.1
2014 1 847.5 15.3 2 092.3 15.3 -244.8
2015 1 860.7 16.0 1 894.5 14.5 -33.8
2016 1 909.8 15.9 1 763.1 13.0 146
2017 2 074.3 16.1 2 075.2 14.1 -0.9

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia (link to https://www.stat.ee/)

INVESTMENTS AND BUSINESS

Finland has been one of the two biggest investors in the Estonian economy during the entire period of Estonian independence (in second place after Sweden). According to the Bank of Estonia, in 2017 22% of the total amount of direct investment to Estonia came from Finland, totaling 4.3 billion euros. The greatest investment has been in the real estate sector (29%), manufacturing (25%), wholesale and retail trade (13%).

In the list of Estonia’s foreign investment target countries, Finland rank in fourth place. As of 2017, Estonia’s direct investments in Finland made up to 9.2% of all investments made in foreign countries totalling 589 mln euros. Estonian investments in Finland are primarily in the finance and insurance industry (37%), the manufacturing industry (21%), the transportation and inventory sector (15 %).

According to the Commercial Registry, as of May 2017, there was a total of  5913 companies with Finnish-ownership in Estonia.

TOURISM

Finland is Estonia’s most important tourist destination. The share of all Finns in the total number of tourists hosted in Estonia based on 2017 data is, as in previous years, very high – 41% of all overnight stays. In 2017 the number of tourists from Finland totaled 916 000. According to Bank of Estonia statistics, there was a total of 1.2 million visits from Finland to Estonia in 2017.

Finland has also been the main foreign travel destination of Estonians. According to the data of the Estonian Statistics Centre, in 2017  573 000 Estonian tourists stayed at overnight accommodation establishments in Finland.