Estonia flag Estonia: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Estonia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Estonia is considered one of the most liberal countries in the world and is very open to trade, which represents 141.9% of GDP (World Bank, latest edition). In 2020, the country mainly exported radio-telephony transmission tools (7.7%), petroleum oils other than crude (4.4%), prefabricated buildings (2.8%), and motor cars (2.8 %). The main imports comprised petroleum oils other than crude (5.9%), motor cars (5%), radio-telephony transmission tools 3.1%), and medicaments (2.8%).

In 2020, the country’s major trading partners were the European Union, led by Finland (15.1%), Sweden (10%) and Latvia (8.7%), Russia (8.4%), and the United States (7.7%). Imports came mainly from the EU area (9.8% Germany, 9% Finland and 5.4% Poland), China (9.3%), and Russia (9.1% - Comtrade).

Estonia's merchandise trade balance is structurally negative. According to figures from WTO, in 2020 the country exported goods worth USD 16.3 billion (+1.7% y-o-y), while imports totalled USD 17.3 billion (-3.8%). Nevertheless, when computing also the trade in services, the total balance of trade is positive and is estimated to account for 0.5% of the country’s GDP in 2020 (down from 4.1% one year earlier - World Bank). In fact, Estonia exported USD 6.4 billion worth of services, importing USD 6.2 billion (-19.6% and +7.8%, respectively). According to preliminary figures from the national statistics agency, exports totalled EUR 1.5 billion on the year to May 2021, a rise of 47%, while imports came to EUR 1.6 billion, up by 50%. Finland, the U.S. and Sweden were the largest destinations for the country’s exports, with Sweden seeing the largest increase of all recipient nations, particularly driven by telecoms equipment.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 14,94816,67319,14018,03517,341
Exports of Goods (million USD) 13,17114,55417,01716,11016,381
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,1914,6655,5665,7436,190
Exports of Services (million USD) 6,1086,7797,7877,9906,419

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 150.4147.6146.3143.9141.9
Trade Balance (million USD) -902-1,030-1,432-994-202
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 8721,0737991,264-33
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.54.05.73.80.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.84.83.96.5-5.0
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 73.471.871.969.970.7
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 77.075.874.574.071.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 13.47.35.13.43.4
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 14.68.26.04.74.5

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Estonia belongs to about 180 international organizations. Estonia has bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements with the USA, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech republic, Austria, Ukraine, Belgium and Luxembourg.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Finland 15.1%
Sweden 10.0%
Latvia 8.7%
Russia 8.4%
United States 7.7%
See More Countries 50.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Germany 9.8%
China 9.3%
Russia 9.1%
Finland 9.0%
Poland 5.4%
See More Countries 57.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

16.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 7.7%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.4%
Oils and other products of the distillation of...Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar; similar products in which the weight of the aromatic constituents exceeds that of the non-aromatic constituents 4.4%
Prefabricated buildings, whether or not complete...Prefabricated buildings, whether or not complete or already assembled 2.8%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.8%
See More Products 77.9%
17.8 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.0%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 3.1%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.9%
Oils and other products of the distillation of...Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar; similar products in which the weight of the aromatic constituents exceeds that of the non-aromatic constituents 2.8%
See More Products 80.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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Latest Update: April 2022