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NEWS - 9. March 2017 16:25

Small enterprises of Harju and Rapla counties see export opportunities

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Harju and Rapla County are setting their eye on export markets at a rate that exceeds the average for Estonian SMEs, indicates Baltic Business Outlook, the annual SEB survey.

“It is not surprising that export activity is the highest in Harju and Rapla counties: 31 per cent of SMEs in these two counties plan to enter new markets or expand within existing markets, at the same time as the average in Estonia is 24 per cent,” said Ainar Leppänen, Head of SEB Retail Banking and Technology Area.

According to the survey, 13 per cent of the SMEs in Harju and Rapla counties are optimists, meaning that they expect more than a 15 per cent increase in turnover for this year, while pessimists – that is, enterprises predicting a decrease in turnover – account for slightly less than one-third. Most of the optimists in Harju and Rapla counties are in the information and communications sector (22 per cent), and in the agriculture, forest management and fishing sectors (21 per cent). However, there are no optimists in the healthcare and social welfare sector in terms of increasing turnover; even so, 70 per cent of the respondents in the sector are moderate optimists.

Nearly 12 per cent of enterprises in Harju and Rapla counties are planning investments in excess of EUR 30,000, which is lower than the indicators for Põlva, Võru and Valga (17 per cent) as well as several other counties. Twenty-four percent of the SMEs in Harju and Rapla counties plan on making no investments at all, which is a slightly poorer indicator than the average for Estonia (22 per cent).

A total of 15 per cent of enterprises in Harju and Rapla counties are planning to hire more employees, while the figure for Jõgeva, Järva and Lääne-Viru SMEs is 18 per cent. Generally, the number of employees will remain stable, since 80 per cent (being the average of Estonia) of the respondents do not plan on making any changes. Nine percent of SMEs in Pärnu, Viljandi and Ida-Viru County predict a decline in labour.

The most active increase in staff (21 per cent) is planned in the administration and support services sector in Harju and Rapla counties; however, on the other hand, 8 per cent of the enterprises in the sector see a decrease here. In transportation and storage, 20 per cent of enterprises intend to increase their staff.

Employees from foreign countries account for 11 per cent of employees in the SMEs in Harju and Rapla counties, being the highest indicator in Estonia. Nine percent of enterprises have one or two foreign workers.

Out of the Estonian enterprises surveyed, 64 per cent plan to improve efficiency either through developing their products and services, training their employees, changing their business model or through other development activities, and the indicator in Harju and Rapla counties is on the same level (63 per cent). Enterprises of the two counties consider the development of products or services (35 per cent) as the most important innovative activity.

For the fifth consecutive year, the SEB Grupp conducted a survey in the Baltic countries, mapping the expectations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the 2017 financial year. The new edition of the Baltic Business Outlook presents a summary of the project and profiles the views of the 4542 Baltic SMEs that completed the survey. Altogether 1086 enterprises participated in the survey from Harju and Rapla counties.

Read the survey here:

For more information:

Evelin Allas
Communications Manager
Marketing and Communications Division

Phone +372 665 5649
Mobile +372 511 1718
Address Tornimäe 2, 15010 Tallinn

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