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Chapter 21: Estonian Perspectives of International Entrepreneurship
21 Estonian perspectives of international entrepreneurship Tiit Elenurm Main trends in enterprise development in Estonia are inﬂuenced by relatively rapid pace of transition to the market economy compared to larger East European transition economies. Policy of Estonian governments in the transition process has been characterized by certain continuity, shaped by liberal economic thinking, abolition of trade barriers and limited application of import tariﬀs, equal treatment of foreign and local investors, privatizing most large enterprises by the end of 1996, stable currency and restricted public spending during the 1990s. The World Bank country study in 1999 stressed that, since regaining independence in 1991, Estonia has successfully implemented a broad agenda of stabilization and structural reform policies, including introduction of the new national currency under a currency board arrangement. Hard budget constraint was imposed on the public sector and private enterprises, and a ‘no bailout’ policy for ﬁnancial institutions was enforced (World Bank, 1999, p. ix). The fact that Estonia was in the ﬁrst group of transition countries that were engaged in EU accession negotiations on 30 March 1998 can also be seen as a reﬂection of rapid movement towards the market economy. An EU Commission report on Estonia’s progress towards accession as early as 1997 regarded Estonia as a functioning market economy. The accession report for the year 2000 concludes that Estonia should be able to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU in the near term, provided that it stays on its present reform...
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