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Estonian report
by Euro Reporter
2016-05-25 11:22:35
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Immigration exceeded emigration in Estonia in 2015

estonia_400Immigration exceeds emigration in Estonia for first time since reindependence last year, reported Statistics Estonia. 52% of the immigrants and 69% of the emigrants were citizens of Estonia, therefore the back-and-forth mobility of citizens of Estonia continues to constitute the majority of the external migration.

21% of the immigrants were EU citizens and 27% were citizens of third countries. 15% of the emigrants were EU citizens and 10% were of other citizenship. Most of the persons whose migration country is known have gone to Finland or come from there. The main destination countries include other highly developed European countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany.

The main source countries of immigration are, in addition to Finland, also Ukraine and Russia. By birth country, 49% of the immigrants are from Estonia, 11% from Russia and 8% from Ukraine. 68% of the emigrants were born in Estonia, 9% in Russia and 4% in Finland.


E-residency in Estonia hits a milestone

Manu Sporny, a U.S. citizen and tech entrepreneur, became Estonia’s 10,000th e-resident last week, Motherboard, a Vice publication, reports. Launched in December 2014, the program is touted by Estonia as the first of its kind in the world and “offers to every world citizen a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a trusted company online, unleashing the world’s entrepreneurial potential.” The e-residency offers people the possibility to set up a business in Estonia, run it online, and administer it from any country. They can also digitally sign contracts and declare taxes online. An e-resident can thus have a fully functioning business in Estonia without ever having visited the Baltic country.

“The more clients Estonian companies have, the bigger their and the Estonian economy’s growth potential,” said Katre Kasmel, the spokeswoman for the program, which hopes to have 10 million e-residents by 2025. Applications for e-residency so far have come from 129 countries. The majority (20 percent) are Finnish, followed by Russia, the United States, and Ukraine, says Estonian World. Since December 2014, e-residents have established 560 new companies and own 1,155 companies in Estonia, Motherboard writes.

According to the director of the program, Kaspar Korjus, the e-residents are a “group of bright individuals who have also invested their time and knowledge to become the pioneers of our service while learning to adapt in our business environment,” Estonian World quoted him as saying. The first e-resident of Estonia was Edward Lucas, a British senior editor of The Economist. At the time, he said the main advantage of e-residency for him is "having a digital signature valid anywhere in the EU, or in any other country which uses electronic authentication," The Atlantic reported.


Estonia gets cheaper Russian gas than Lithuania

Estonia’s electricity and gas company Elering paid Russian exporter Gazprom an average €13.50/MWh in April, which is 49% lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, the average gas price on the Lithuanian GET Baltic Gas Exchange in April was €16.41/ MWh, 23% lower than in the same period last year. Lithuania has an LNG import terminal, which gave it an alternative to Russian gas.

Elering says the fall in price was caused by the fall in oil prices, which are part of the gas purchase price formula. In April, Estonia imported 41.3mn m³ of natural gas, which was 0.6 % more than the same time last year. The volume of gas imported from Lithuania totalled 5.1mn m³ in April, compared with 11.0mn m³ a year ago. Gas was imported from Lithuania in April by Baltic Energy Partners and Eesti Energia. The rest of the gas was purchased by Eesti Gaas from Gazprom, said Elering. 

The entire volume of natural gas imported to Estonia in April entered via Karksi, and gas flows fluctuated between 0.89-1.74mn m³/day. The volume of natural gas delivered by Elering totalled 40.6mn m³ in April. Of this, 35.2mn m³ came from the largest Estonian natural gas distribution network Gaasivorgud. The transit pipeline passing through southeast Estonia carried 86.3mn m³ from Latvia to Russia in March. The Incukalns underground reservoir in Latvia was 30% full at the end of March and 19% full at the end of April.


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