Tallinn, Stenbock House, 6 December 2010
Today Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with Slovenian prime minister Borut Pahor at Stenbock House, the main purpose of whose visit was to learn about Estonia’s experience of overcoming the financial crisis.
In Ansip’s view, the Estonian economy has recovered from the crisis. The prime minister asserts that the key to this success has been sustainable state financing, the strict budgetary policy and the country’s entering the Eurozone. He added that during the recession Estonia demonstrated flexibility both in the private sector and in government action.
“The resumption of economic growth was facilitated by decisions made during 2009 to improve the budgetary position,” he explained. “We also held the government sector debt level in check, which was the lowest in the EU in 2008, and which didn’t grow much during the crisis in 2009.”
Ansip also explained that the economic growth of Estonia’s foreign trade partners, like general global economic growth, has exceeded expectations in the first half of 201, thus boosting the revival of the Estonian economy.
“The post-crisis developments in Estonia indicate rapid economic recovery supported by exports,” he said. “Estonia’s exports have been supported by both returning foreign demand and the flexibility of our companies. The companies adapted during the recession and this has allowed them to robustly increase industrial sector export volumes.”
Prime Minister Ansip also stressed the importance of the budgetary reserves accumulated during the period of economic growth in overcoming the crisis. According to the prime minister, the task of the government for the next few years is to return the budget to surplus and restore reserves.
“Estonia’s transition to the euro, a global currency, will improve our national credibility among foreign investors,” he stressed. “The euro will encourage them to invest and this will mean new jobs and a boost to our economic welfare.”
Borut Pahor expressed the conviction that if Slovenia had not been a member of the Eurozone, the country would have faced a much more serious crisis last year. Slovenia’s transition to the common European currency took place in 2007.
Ansip and Pahor noted the good relations between Estonia and Slovenia. Communication between the two countries has remained active since their early years of independence. European Union and NATO membership has further consolidated these relations, creating many new cooperation opportunities. The two countries also joined the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the same time.