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Estonia and New Zealand enjoy a good working relationship. Estonia considers New Zealand to be a ‘natural partner’ of Estonia and the EU, and New Zealand officials enjoy open and frank engagement with Estonian counterparts.
Our existing Working Holiday Scheme is probably the most significant means by which links between Estonia and New Zealand have developed. There has been a strong uptake by young Estonians since it was established in 2007. Participants in the Scheme have been 100% in a single direction - Estonians travelling to New Zealand.
Although bilateral ties are limited, Estonia's strong economy, EU membership and close ties with its Scandinavian and Baltic neighbours make it of increasing relevance to New Zealand. Estonia is a reform-minded voice within the EU and has been supportive of positions that reflect New Zealand interests.
Bilateral trade levels are low (about $5 mn total two way trade, weighted in NZ’s favour) and concentrated on a few niche products, but there are opportunities for New Zealand exports to grow, particularly wine and high-tech products such as medical equipment.
Land Area: 45,227 square km
Population: 1.3 million (2013)
Capital City: Tallinn
Language: Estonian; Russian is widely understood
Political system: Parliamentary democracy
National government: Centre-right coalition of the Reform Party and the Pro Patria-Res Publica Union
National legislature: Unicameral Parliament (Riigikogu), of 101 members
Last election: March 2011
Next election due: March 2015
Head of State:President Hendrik Ilves
Head of Government:Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
GDP: US$24,026 million
Real GDP growth: 1.1%
Exports: US$15,316 million
Main exports: Machinery & equipment, mineral products, agricultural products & food preparations
Imports: US$16,547 million
Current account balance: US$-300 million
Inflation: 2.8% (2013 average)
NZ Exports (FOB): NZ$3 million
NZ Imports (CIF): NZ$2 million
NB: New Zealand’s official trade statistics for exports to Estonia do not include goods transhipped from elsewhere in the EU, such as dairy products.
The Safe Travel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Estonia [external link].