Digitalisation and export

A digital revolution in Estonian industry is possible and necessary. In order to maintain and improve Estonia’s competitiveness, the investments of companies into modernising Estonian industry must increase considerably. National measures that encourage the digitalisation of the economy would intensify the economic development of the entire country and increase the application rate of ICT in the private sector.

Industry 4.0 is the application of innovative technologies throughout the supply chain with the purpose of increasing productivity. To maintain, and better yet, increase Estonia’s competitiveness, significant investments must be made in modernising industry in the coming years. 

Digitalisation of transport and logistics is a field with great potential

In the coming decades, the transport sector will witness ground-breaking changes, as large proportions of the market will be redistributed due to technological developments and new business models. The business models that embrace the information technology opportunities will be on the winning side. In this context, Estonia as a world-renowned digital country will have new opportunities for economic growth.

Impacts of digitalisation on the fields of transport and logistics

  • Economic impact: The total volume of the transport sector market in the world is approximately 9 trillion EUR; the sector yields 5% of the GDP of EU member states and constitutes 10-15% of production input costs. The sector provides jobs for approximately 10 million people. According to 2016 data from Statistics Estonia, every household in Estonia spends an average of 12.2% of their budget on transport services.
  • Improvement of road safety: According to research, the application of intelligent transport solutions will help reduce the damage inflicted by road accidents by up to 1/3. Currently, Estonia is losing a total of almost 1.4 billion EUR per year through deaths and invalidity caused by road accidents, which translates into unused potential of 450 million EUR per year (according to the Public Road Administration, the price of one human life is about 2 million EUR). 
  • Digitalisation of transport will improve the accessibility of transport services for different societal groups and, in turn, improve the access of people with disabilities to the labour market.
  • With the digitalisation of transport, it is possible to considerably improve the efficiency of the sector. Today, ordinary vehicles are on standby about 95% of the time. 
  • Reduce costs on transport infrastructure (including roads) – research has shown that the impact of a new road extension is exhausted within 5-10 years, after which traffic jams are back – therefore, it is often more reasonable and cost-effective to manage transport demand by means of technological solutions.  
  • By supporting the ITS Estonia cooperation network, it is possible to increase the number of innovative products and services and increase export.

Proposals for further development of intelligent transport in Estonia

  • It is important to purposefully develop the local ecosystem, by supporting the activities of the ITS Estonia network. This cooperation platform helps to spread the sectoral know-how obtained from international channels, brings together different parties (from the private and public sectors), prepares pilot projects and carries out joint marketing projects abroad, thereby supporting export. 
  • It is important to invest in carrying out sectoral pilot projects and initiate and provide support for innovation procurements. This facilitates the emergence of new products and services, which are the engines of export and economic growth, and it also encourages increased efficiency in the use of resources in the public sector.  
  • It is important to revise legal acts and abolish the restrictions hindering digital cross-sectoral services. When possible, problems should be solved cross-sectorally, with all parties involved. 
  • The application of nationwide open data platforms should be supported between national and private-sector transport information systems.
  • It is important to support field-specific education and research and development activities (including logistics, robotics, data science and ICT in a wider sense), as well as shorter courses for helping existing talent catch up with new developments and achieve higher added value.  

Estonia is No. 1 in the world in the use of e-governance solutions

We have the experience and references required for exporting the skills related to building a secure digital society. We support our companies in entering new markets and developing their export competences through the ICT cluster. We address the regulations of the Estonian legislative environment to ensure proper functioning of export activities. Our current focal theme is how to create a unified and consistent framework for involving officials in public service export activities. The e-Estonia brand facilitates joint marketing, and the companies exporting ICT solutions are listed on the website. 

It is necessary to develop a system for organising the circulation of private sector information in real time. There must be a secure and comfortable environment for automated business transactions.

The objective is to develop a secure and standardised network based on the real-time economy concept where all transactions are digital, the majority of transactions are automated and they occur in real time. To this end, it is necessary to implement the European Union standards and form ties with the network in Europe, which in turn will considerably simplify European-wide e-invoicing for Estonian companies. Cross-border e-invoicing helps save both time and money in the entire supply chain.