Economies in transformation: Estonia among top world’s innovators

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If there is one principle that State decision makers should take for granted in the times of globalized world economies is that building a production model relying almost exclusively on natural resources is not anymore a viable option. Not because we do not like nature anymore (and Estonians, probably, are among those people who know this better than anyone else), but because the future of modern economies may be based more on “country’s base in knowledge than in natural resources”. Exporting services is now easier than ever, so why not seize the opportunities that could come from this sector?

Economics reporters from one of Canada’s major newspapers, The Globe and Mail, are asking themselves the same question – with predictable responses. In the famous Report on Business section of the newspaper, authors are trying to understand how could be possible to transform an economy whose biggest share of exports has been natural resources-related so far into “an innovation hub that can carve out a strong, job-creating niche in a rapidly changing global landscape”. Economics columnist Brian Milner identifies four examples of “economic transitions” that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could look at: Estonia, of course, is part of the final short-list.


The impressive technological development of Estonia has its roots in country’s history: in 1991, the majority of Estonians had no telephones; in early 2000s already, every school was online and Internet access for everyone was not a pipe dream anymore. And this is just one example.

Education, everyday life, entrepreneurship. The digitization of a society has positively affected all these side of people’s existence. The idea of transforming a post-Soviet country in an e-State (e-Estonia, footnote) in about ten years has become reality, and it does not seem so unattainable for anyone anymore.

All around the world, public administrations are already taking inspiration from the Estonian experience in order to innovate their policy-making processes and, most of all, the implementation of the results of these decisions. If The Globe and Mail is willing to point out a positive example of e-governance which PM Trudeau could look at, Estonia might be the next place to visit.

To read the full article from The Globe and Mail, click here.


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