Business opportunities and Economic Development
in Estonia 2010+: The Role of ICTs
Time: 9.00 - 15.30, 18 February 2005
Location: Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kohtu 6, Tallinn
Organisers: PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies and Archimedes Foundation
Language: English and Estonian
Participants: Policy-makers, researchers, entrepreneurs (50-70)
In capitalist economic system, business opportunities of the entrepreneurs acting at the free market are always
set by the public policy. The Government (in)action can either stimulate or constrain the possibilities of the
entrepreneurs acting in market environment. For entrepreneurs, it is therefore of paramount importance to ensure
that the future economic policies pursued by the Government will ensure creation of a market environment, truly
conductive to economic growth.
Industrial clustering is arguably one of the most important features of economic development and thus creation
of clusters should be the objective of policies impacting economic growth. Yet, perhaps the strongest lesson from
history of economic policy is that every economy needs in order to be successful specific policies that arise from
local needs and possibilities. This is particularly the case with science and technology policies as these fields
are very expensive and developments have here big time lags.
Recent analyses show that Estonia's economic development is characterized by:
- Mainly cheap labour based cost advantages and little if any local clustering;
- Successful companies act frequently low-value added parts of outside (often Scandinavian) value-chains.
The above applies particularly strongly to the ICT related developments in Estonia, whereas more than the half of
the productivity increase in the OECD countries comes from the ICTs. The above seems to constrain severely both the
business opportunities and the prospects for economic development in Estonia.
The idea of this Conference
is to discuss the possible options of industrial and technological upgrading for Estonia that could materialize both
in the forthcoming R&D and innovation strategy Knowledge-based Estonia 2006-2010 and in the National
Development Plan 2007-2013 forming the basis for us of the EU Structural Funds.