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Key Characteristics - Saaremaa and Estonia

Saaremaa

A favourable economic - geographical location
ferries between saaremaa and the mainland • Saaremaa is located in the centre of the Baltic Sea region with the most rapidly growing market in Europe containing 70 million consumers.

• Gates to the West include not only the newly reconstructed Kuressaare Airport and Roomassaare Port, the operation of modern ferries between Saaremaa and the mainland but also the rapid development of the telecommunications, highly important for the island and the planned for the year 2000 deep water harbour create qualitatively new standard in communicating with West Europe.
Development of a deep water harbour:
     •creates a possibility for the already existing ferry and cruise lines to offer tax - free trading. The Estonian Government has started negotiations for prolonging the tax - free trading period beyond Estonia’s succession to the EU.

     •enables Saaremaa to connect to the cruise routes crossing the Baltic Sea;

     •creates a solid base for further development of the tourism industry, transport infrastructure and services sector on Saaremaa.

Saaremaa is a tourist destination, revisited by 35% of foreign and 95% of domestic tourists.

Exotic - specific, ecologically clean, due to the mild maritime climate. Nature here presents a great diversity, made impressive by juniper fields, coastal alvars, sandy beaches and bluffs.

Saaremaa has an entrepreneurship friendly, safe and strain free economic environment.

Safety - The level of crime is 3 - 4 times lower here than in Tallinn or in Estonia on the whole.

Social environment - Due to the watershed and homogeneous local population composition there are no major strains on either social or national basis on Saaremaa.

Low labour costs - Compared to those in the West European countries and also in Tallinn, production costs are much lower here, ensuring a still optimum ratio between labour costs and the quality of work.

•The potentially available labour power and production space is plentiful.

The average islander is well educated and young.

•The school - leavers from Saaremaa hold the first position among those accepted to higher educational establishments. After the university cities of Tallinn and Tartu, the percentage of the population with higher education is the highest on Saaremaa. The great majority of the inhabitants are able to communicate in a foreign language.

Estonia

Investment in plant and equipment is tax deductible.

A liberal economic policy and free trade agreements provide Estonia with the perfect opportunity for the access to the markets of West Europe but also of East Europe and Russia.

•In the autumn of 1999, Estonia became a full member of the World Trade Organisation.

Estonia is member of European Union.

Estonia shows a big freedom of economy. The studies on the freedom of economy, carried out by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, yhave ranked Estonia in the Top 20 during the few past years. Estonia and the Czech Republic are considered the most successful East European countries.

Estonia welcomes foreign investments, Foreign companies have the same rights as local ones. The security of foreign investments is guaranteed by the legislation and treaties and the legislation regulating business activity is explicit.

•Estonia has steadily been among the first three of the CEE countries by the amount of foreign investments per capita.

•Estonian currency is reliable. The freely convertible Estonian kroon is linked to the German mark and the Euro. In addition, there are no restrictions on taking profit out of the country.

 
 

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