Structure of the economy

More than 71% of the Estonian GDP is derived from the service sectors, industrial sectors yield 25% and primary branches (including agriculture) approximately 4% of the overall output. Service sectors experienced a rapid development in the early 1990s as many of them did not even exist in the Soviet economic system. During the Soviet era the function of a large part of the plants and factories was producing goods for the military industry and for Russia, and their production now proved unnecessary. Therefore a lot of basic necessities had to be imported at first. Recent years have seen the growth of the industry to surpass the increase of the services sector, which means that more and more necessary goods can now be produced locally.

The important sectors of the Estonian economy are the processing industry (approximately 14.5% of the overall production), transport, warehousing and communications (10%), commerce (13.5%) and estate, rental and letting, as well as business services (21%). Agriculture and forestry amount to 2.2% of the overall production, construction approximately 7% and government, education and health care to more than 17%. The percentage of governmental administration, education and health care grew during the economically difficult years, because these sectors had to keep on working despite the crisis.

Due to Estonia's smallness it is impossible to locally produce all the products and services needed by thelocal people and enterprises. But in order to be able to import them, something must be exported. That is why export holds such a prominent position for the Estonian economy and its growth. The volume of export of goods and services amounts to 73% of the Estonian GDP, export of services constitutes about one third thereof. The main services the export of which brings profit to Estonian enterprises are various services related to transport and Russian transit but also procceeds from tourism. More than two thirds of the Estonian industrial production is for export.

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