The Estonian experience suggests that the best way to respond to the current debt crisis in Europe is by pursuing conservative fiscal policy and carry out economic reforms. The last years have shown that Estonia has followed the right path. Obviously, fiscal consolidation in the euro zone can affect the demand for Estonian exports and slow down our recovery in the short run. Nevertheless, this can be compensated by lower interest rates and trust in the long run. Most importantly, Estonian experience makes it clear that the currency peg to the euro and joining the euro zone offers benefits as long as a country is willing to carry out structural reforms and keep their books balanced. This, of course, implies that government is willing and able to carry out necessary reforms.
Our key future challenge is to create environment where everyone in Estonia can enjoy a good quality of life. In order to achieve this goal, we have to have constant growth in real incomes. The prerequisite for this income growth is increase in productivity, which will boost competiveness of our firms in the world economy. Most importantly, we have to value people living in Estonia and support them in investing in their skills and knowledge. Our future depends on what our people think, what they know and what are they capable of doing. In order to achieve this, the government plans to reform education system and implement more pro-active labor market policies. Most importantly, our aim is to create business friendly environment where it is simple to start a business, where companies have a good access to capital and companies can create high-value added products by exploiting the results of innovation and R&D. In this environment, businesses from all over the world can drive – Welcome to Estonia!