Round Table Discussion with Estonian Trade Delegation
On November 27th, 2018, the Baltic American Chamber of Commerce (BACC) together with the Consulate General of Estonia in NY organized a round table discussion, consisting of the Estonian Trade Delegation (Mr. Viljar Lubi, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Mr. Allan Selirand, Director, Estonian Ivestment Agency, Mr. Tanel Rebane, Director, Trade Development Agency and other representatives of Enterprise Estonia, and Estonian IT companies Mooncascade, Cybernetica) looking to expand in the American market and American business persons.
The discussion was graciously hosted by White & Case law firm. Estonian representatives were looking to find new leads and contacts, discover the U.S. market and provide possibilities for companies to share knowledge. Part of the reasoning behind the gathering was to aid remedying two significant issues in Estonia, a labor shortage and lack of access to export markets. Most Estonian companies present have flourishing foreign establishments and are deciding if the east coast is the right next move. An Estonian investment firm present expressed interest in seeking ideas worth investing in and inclinations for finding the ‘right‘ environment to invest in, one that is agile and competitive enough to grow companies, as is New York. One way of achieving business goals is via government support. The German Government is an example of Government participation in furthering commerce for economic growth. Anne Augusta Blum, representing the German Accelerator Tech organization, illustrated how the German Government sponsors 80 percent of start-ups that join the German Accelerator Tech program and how there is no payment necessary for start-ups to utilize their services. This has greatly benefitted the German economy. Also interesting to Estonian attendees, Fernando Gomez-Baquero, from Cornell Tech shared how his firm has created 250 companies and project to create 70 more this year. Despite its small size, Estonia is especially enticing to investors because of its advancing implementation of technology, from e-governance to digital identification.
The round table discussion was followed by a reception at the Consulate General of Estonia in NY allowing for network possibilities. BACC continues to support opportunities, such as this meeting, to help the economy of Baltic States thrive.