There are good signs in the air24.12.2010, 12:14
Although the economic news from 2010 was undoubtedly dominated by the ongoing recession and financial crises in Greece and Ireland, there was plenty of good news as well for Estonia, writes Äripäev's editor-in-chief Meelis Mandel.
The lesson to be learned by the Greek and Irish is that one cannot spend more than one makes in the long term and that there is a time for payment. What's worrying is that the problem could easily spread and spill over next year.
In Estonia which is preparing for the euro changeover, the good news is that the number of new business startups has been growing in the last two years and the recession has not dampened the entrepreneurial spirit of Estonians.
One significant news from 2010 is the bankruptcy of Narva Kreenholm textile industry. For me it symbolises the end of cheap and mass subcontracting services offered by Estonian companies. And while I am saddened by the fate of hundreds of Kreenholm employees, this outcome was almost inevitable. Estonia is switching to offering small-scale, but more intelligent subcontracting services.
We cannot compete with China or India, but we can be competitors to Scandinavians. Nordic producers are understand that it makes sense to subcontract production to Estonia. I have also head about surveys which say that Estonian productivity is higher than in Scandinavia which effectively ends the myth that Estonian workers are fundamentally lazy and want something for nothing.
Another positive aspect of the current situation is that in spite of financing problems, small companies which only a few employees have been very resilient to the crisis and come up with innovative products for exports. Since small businesses are the backbone of Estonia's economy, there is definitely hope that things will soon become better.