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Estonia must learn from Singapore – opinion

Investor Raivo Hein writes in Aripaev that Estonian government should learn from the example of Singapore and instead of focusing on tax raises, limiting entrepreneurship and buying power, should focus on business, tourism, industry and exports

The following are exceprts from Hein’s opinion article.

Singapore is one of the world’s most successful countries: it is the world’s fourth largest stock exchange, has the highest international credit rating in Asia, is No. 1 by doing business worldwide, has strong industrial capacity, is one of the world’s premier financial centres, is a major transit trade hub, global tourism magnet and has almost zero unemployment.


If you look at its disadvantages - low birth rate, lack of workforce, less than 5 million in population, ageing demographics, not natural resources, etc. – it is exactly the same as Estonia has.

How has Singapore achieved all that? The answer is by being pro-business, pro-growth (instead of focusing on redistribution), having favourable tax policy and promoting immigration.


Here is a list of nine recommendations which I believe that Estonia should do by learning from Singapore:

1. Put in place a government of technocrats who instead of scratching themselves and picking their nose actually do something. Excess politicians should be sent to the labour market and/or pension

2. Instead of focusing on raising taxes, limiting entrepreneurship and buying power, the government must start promoting business, tourism, industry and exports.

3. Promote entrepreneurship, education and intellect. Let’s send young people to abroad at the expense of the state (with strings attached).

4. Facilitate immigration and allow migrants to start employment since their arrival (as in London).

5. Instead of attempting to become part of socially secure Scandinavia (such as Finland), make Estonia a land of opportunities (such as US).

6. Borrow and invest in infrastructure development and productive assets.

7. Abolish mandatory pensionable age – everyone can work as long as he or she wants. Part of a person’s social tax should be invested in index funds with low management fees.

8. New enterprises must receive sizable tax deducations.

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