Business Relations

Economic relations between Estonia and Japan are good and progressing stably.
Thanks to the Estonian government’s successful co-operation with Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi, a unique project will come to life from 2011-2013. A network of electric car charging stations than covers the entire country (250 stations in total) will be established and 509 Mitsubishi MieV electric cars will arrive in Estonia, which are to be used by municipal social workers. In addition, the Estonian government will start a support programme that will make it cheaper for people to buy electric cars.

Estonia’s trade balance with Japan has been positive in recent years and the export volume is increasing while still only accounting for 0.53% of total Estonian exports in 2012. Overall, Japan was Estonia’s 30th largest trade partner, 24th in terms of export capacity and 30th in terms of import capacity.

Trade between Estonia and Japan in 2007 – 2013 (in millions of EUR)

Year Export Import
2007 42.4 89.4
2008 39.4 51.0
2009  39.4 17.4
2010 47.7 27.1
2011 60.9 24.9
2012 66.1 36.8
2013 59.5 23.8

In 2012, the majority of export was wood and wood products – 34.4 mln Euros– 52%; then chemical products – 13.7 mln – 20.7%; measurement and medical devices (thermometers and pyrometers – 5 mln – 7.5%; and other industrial products (wooden houses) – 4.6 mln – 7%.

In 2012, imports were: cars and motorcycles – 17 mln Euros – 46%; machinery and mechanical appliances – 13 mln – 36%; measurement and medical devices (optical fibers, fiberoptic cables) – 2.1 mln – 5.7%.

Source: Statistical Office of Estonia

According to Bank of Estonia data as of December 31, 2013, direct investments from Japan to Estonia totalled nearly 7.7 million euros. The main sectors are real estate, as well as wholesale and retail business.