Estonia's transport sector consists of railway, road, maritime, waterways and air transport, as well as pipeline transport and urban electric transport. The communications system consists of postal services and telecommunications.
The share of transport and communications sector in GDP accounts for 10.5 percent. The net turnover of realisation totalled 20.6 billion kroons in 1997. For 1998, net turnover growth of about 17.8 percent is envisaged. In total, state budget allocations to the transport and communications sector reached 1 470 million kroons in 1998, comprising 9.5 percent of the total state budget expenditure.
International freight business is mainly connected with transit cargo. It is rail and short sea shipping related. International road connections mainly are linked with Corridors I and IX. Domestic freight is road related. Ro - Ro operations are important for foreign trade of Estonia. Passenger transport has followed the trends of CEEC with an increase in car transport, a decrease in rail passenger traffic and an increase in international air and sea traffic. Restructuring of the transport enterprises is in good shape. Ports are developed, rail and road infrastructure is in need of investments. Road traffic safety is a severe problem. The main goal of the programme is to give a framework for the development of the transport sector.
- To enable the residents of Estonia, all individuals and legal persons, to use public roads for movement under the rules prescribed by law and to receive transport service in all the regions of Estonia, which meet the demands of society with regard to its volume, type and quality. The system is to be safe and environmentally-friendly and require as little expense from society as possible.
- To increase gross national product by raising the competitiveness of the economy as a whole. To achieve this, means the provision of faster, cheaper and safer transport connections (accessibility) between regions of the country and increased integration between the transport, economic as well as other sectors.
- To increase gross national product by means of transport service exports, raising the international competitiveness of the national transport sector that is integrated with Trans-European structures, creating mechanisms for its management and systematic development, developing transit transport and the extensive use of road network for international passenger and freight traffic.
Organisation: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Transportation; Estonian Road Administration, Rail Administration, Air Transport Administration, Waterways Administration, State Road Vehicles Register. The above-mentioned organisations form the institutional base of the Programme.
In terms of the transport policy context:
- Social Aspect (low average density of Estonian population, the concentration of main residential areas around Tallinn and Tartu and in north-eastern Estonia)
- Macroeconomic Aspect (inadequate and unsystematic fostering of Estonian domestic services (incl. transit) on international market; the weakness of domestic co-operation networks; the lack and unsystematic product development infrastructure (incl. risk capital); one-sided practice of project finance and risk management in the financial sector; the quality of agricultural production being oriented to the eastern market, the inadequacy of west-directed distribution channels; the dependence of economy on east-west trade)
- Microeconomic Aspect (inadequate orientation of public transport to customers and the high reputation of the use of personal cars among residents; insufficient level and one-sided practice of traffic management and control; low competitiveness of sustainable modes of transport; qualitative backwardness of roads, in particular of railway infrastructure and rolling stock accompanied by the resulting effects)
Estonian State and local budgets, EU programmes (PHARE which is now closed, ISPA, EU cohesion funds which are in the starting phase, loans from international public and private financial organisations).
Financing covers the project preparation capability. (Note that projects financed from the budget and from banks are investment oriented and usually have a feasibility study phase with investigation type tasks).
Transport Development and Logistics Unit