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The Economic Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu approved the amendment to the Foresight Centre action plan, adding an urgent special foresight project concerning the virus crisis.

The Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Sven Sester explained that the special project along with possible future scenarios must be initiated and carried out as soon as possible because no one has no longer any doubt about the economic and social impact of the virus crisis. “Rather, the question is whether the impact will be big or very big. The fight against the expected consequences started as soon as the emergency situation was declared, but the better the future forecasts that we have at our disposal during the decision making process, the faster and better targeted will be the steps that we can take,” he said.

Sester added that the Foresight Centre project would study how the structure and competitive position of the Estonian economy could change in relation to other countries over three years. “The possible progression of broader social and societal processes are viewed as the background.”

The Deputy Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Kristen Michal said that COVID-19 could be confidently expected to affect the coping of the Estonian residents and businesses in a negative way. “There is no need to start inventing the wheel. Estonia’s businesses would gain from our ability to identify the structural changes in the global economy that follow the crisis, and us putting public money into good use to help our people would boost their incomes. If ever there is anything positive in this crisis, it’s that a small and quickly adaptable digital country should emerge as a winner in the aftermath. The Foresight Centre study should concentrate on seeking out useful trends, competitive advantages, and keys as soon as possible,” Michal emphasised.

The Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov noted that the special project would concentrate on identifying the economic impact of the virus crisis and assessing the future outlooks in light of different scenarios. “The coronavirus crisis has hit the whole world and affects a number of development trends. For Estonia, it is crucial to discover the possible changes to the structure of our economy, considering the amplified, emerging, or turning development trends and different scenarios that could come to life as a consequence of the virus crisis,” Danilov explained.

The final report of the Foresight Centre special project on the impact of COVID-19 will be completed by October.