Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Development Fund Tõnis Arro reported to the Riigikogu plenary assembly on the activities of the Development Fund, established by the Riigikogu, in 2012-2013. He noted that the function of the Development Fund is to contribute to the development of the Estonian economy with a view to generating innovative enterprises and jobs with a high added value. The Development Fund has four areas of activity at present: investment activity and three monitoring and development fields.
The smart specialisation area is being launched in the Development Fund. In Arro’s words, the expected outcome could be summed up by saying that the next Skype to be born in Estonia will be the outcome of systematic work.
In the field of green economy and energy, Arro highlighted that the establishment of energy associations might help save energy. For example, a 10% saving in household consumption would mean 900 million euro per year in terms of monetary value.
In Arro’s words, the situation is worrying in the field of enterprise monitoring and development activity. The survival rate of small scale enterprises is too low in Estonia and undertakings as a rule are not willing to grow and to come up with something original or to start exporting.
“Our aim should be not so much jobs which create high added value as to have knowledge based capitalists. The generation of the layer or class of knowledge based capitalists is a significant goal in itself. I think that this is actually the main goal, the way in which our investment activity seriously contributes to the Estonian economy,” Arro said.
When speaking about investment activities, Arro brought examples of successful investments. “We have invested roughly nine millions and the value of our investments amounts to 11 million today on the basis of audited data. A total of 18 investments have been made; 14 of them are active today, and the larger and more interesting ones of them are more successful. The biggest success story GrabCAD has received additional investments in the amount of more than 10 million, nearly 11 million, after our investment. Likewise, Fits.me has received more than five millions. They are successful and well managing companies. We have sufficient reason to believe that our investment activity as a whole portfolio will have a positive effect,” Arro spoke before the Riigikogu.
Aivar Riisalu, Jaan Õunapuu and Kaja Kallas took the floor during the debate.
The Riigikogu did not pass at the first reading the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic” (447 OE), submitted by the Social Democratic Party Faction. The Resolution did not receive the majority vote of the plenary assembly (35 votes in favour, 29 against) and was dropped from the legislative proceeding.
The Riigikogu also started the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Aliens Act (452 SE), submitted by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The deliberation was adjourned due to the end of the working hours. The first reading will be resumed at the plenary sitting on Wednesday.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno&stcommand=stenogramm
The Riigikogu Press Service
17 September 2013
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