Target Market: North-West Russia
Pärnu, together with Narva-Jõesuu, Haapsalu, Saaremaa and Jurmala have historically been one of the favorite summer destinations on the shores of the Baltic sea for Russian elite, not to talk about the locals who have entitled the city the Summer Capital of the country. Pärnu has the privilege of being hte biggest of the curorts on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Estonia has a favorable geopgraphical position in area, Tallinn is only at a 4-hour drive from St Petersburg with 5 mln inhabitants, and only 877 km from Moscow with good flight connections to Tallinn and Riga.
Pärnu’s ties with Russia
Pärnu was beloved as a summer resort and year-around recreational Spa destination with thermal and mud baths’ already during the Soviet Union era, the First Republic, as well as during the existance of the Russian Empire (1721-1917). It still carries its historical fame in the CIS countries and Russia, but also has a western touch to a vacatioiner to offer. Russian culture has historically been represented on a very high level in Pärnu.
Located in a faovorable area from a logistical point of view, Riga and Tallinn airports connect Pärnu to Moscow, St Petersburg and rest of the world, followed by only a 2-hour car-drive.
Relations between the two countries
Estonia is favorably located between the tradeways of the East and the West, thus commerce wiht Russia and the West has always been very lively. After the regaining of independence in 1991, the relationships between Russia and Estonia were considered among the most advanced and favorable compared to those the big neighbor had with the other Baltic countries.
Historically Russia has been an important export market for Estonian goods and raw-material imports. In 2006, the relationship passed through a political crisis, but the relations are showing signs of improvement. In 2011 Estonia and Finland backed Russia in the accession to the WTO. The private sector performs an even more progressive rhetorics and has taken the initiative of actively improving bilateral relations, where it is true also that Russia has awarded several Estonian entrepreneours with prizes for the activities in the field of standing for good relations. Also on inter-personal level, contacts with Russia are considered a privilege. Russians make 28% of Estonia’s population, and consider Estonia their home. Russia is Estonia’s third most important trading partner.
The ground for further improvement of relations is fertile,. In the light of Russia’s future accession to a visa-free regime with the EU, out of Schengen countries, only Estonia, Finland and Latvia have a border with Russia. Estonia still has many ports , destination and historical ties with Russia to favor a collaborative future. With the globalization in place and the pressure caused by passed financial crisis on countries’ economies, the geo-economic position of a state becomes once again one of the key factors for social and economic development.
The trade volume with Russia grew 124% in the past two years according to the Estonian Confederation of Employers.
The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) entirely counts for over 90 mln inhabitants of a high living-standard, attracting investments to the region, and it is the region with the highest quality of life in the world. The realization of the railroad RailBaltica financed by the EU is expected to bring more economic sustainability and growth to the region. See the map below for existing rail routes (on the left) and the Rail Baltica route (on the right, marked with the green line). The RailBaltica route is planned to pass through Tallinn, Pärnu, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw and Berlin, connecting this way also Helsinki to the rest of Europe via railways.