Today, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Development Fund Ott Pärna presented a report to the Riigikogu on the activities of the Estonian Development Fund in 2009 and a vision for the future. Pärna began his speech with the statement that this report is essentially intended to initiate “a debate of the future of Estonia”. In the speaker’s words, the report consists of five essential parts: a growth vision, growth areas, capital, educated resource and management which should all influence our future.
According to the report, in 2009, four new investments were made and the virtual incubator of international business SeedBooster was created with the aim of opening the international potential of ambitious business projects and developing them to maturity for venture capital. Seven starting enterprises or business projects were being developed in Seedbooster in 2009. Pärna said that in the previous year they had also worked on the Estonian Venture Capital Association which today has 16 full members and 26 supporting members and which, in Pärna’s words, works quite efficiently. Pärna: “The market has accepted us well. What needs improvement is international market competence which is actually lacking in Estonia.” Pärna also spoke about monitorings, an analysis of the opportunities for financial and health services export and internationalisation trends of higher education as well as about initiating the pilot project of an international IT academy in Estonia.
As a problem area, Pärna pointed out the lack of capital. “When looking at money flows which have moved into and out of Estonia during the last three and a half years, we can see that we have five times less the foreign money supporting this economic growth with which to uphold the today’s welfare level and finance the new growth,” said Pärna. In view of the future, the speaker considered it important to increase the complexity level and added value of the existing enterprises and to build new enterprises on the basis of research and development activities. In conclusion, Pärna stressed the importance of emergence of the debate over future, bearing in mind the key importance of the coming four years for the Estonian economy, as well as the coming parliament cycle.
On behalf of the factions of the Riigikogu, comments were presented by Urmas Klaas, Jüri Tamm, Kalev Kallo and Maret Merisaar.
The Riigikogu passed with 46 votes in favour the Financial Management of Local Government Act
), initiated by the Government. The Act updates budget organisation of local governments. The Act provides the principles of drawing up, adoption and implementation of the budget and reporting of local governments, the measures for ensuring financial discipline of accounting units and the principles of drawing up a plan for implementation of these measures. The principles of financial accounting are harmonised and the regulation of accrual budgeting is established. The Act restricts taking of loans by local governments: it provides that the net debt burden may amount up to 60 per cent of the income from principal activity of the respective accounting year. It also establishes the permitted value of total net gain of local governments which must be zero or positive as at the end of the accounting year. The Financial Management of Local Government Act enters into force on 1 January 2011; § 65 of the Act enters into force on the tenth day after publication in the Riigi Teataja
. At the same time, the Rural Municipality and City Budgets Act is repealed as of 1 July 2012 and §§ 1–25 and 261
of this Act are repealed as of 1 January 2012. 26 members of the Riigikogu voted against this Act, nobody abstained.
For more details, read the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):
The Riigikogu Press Service