OREANDA-NEWS.  December 04, 2013. Enterprises in Rapla County are quite hopeful about the coming year, as indicated by the survey “Rapla County Business Barometer 2014” conducted among our corporate clients in the county.

“Compared to last year’s survey, the enterprises in Rapla County are more optimistic and forecast noticeable turnover and export growth that would involve the addition of new jobs. Greater investment activity can be observed among exporters,” commented Eerika Vaikmae-Koit, Head of Retail Banking and Technology Area and Member of the Management Board of SEB Pank, according to whom sharing borders with Harju County also plays a role in the economy of Rapla County.

Eighty-nine per cent of the 37 enterprises surveyed in Rapla County are planning turnover growth in 2014. Higher turnover growth of over 15 per cent is estimated by 27 per cent of enterprises, twice as much as in the analogous survey conducted a year ago. The biggest turnover growth is foreseen in the agricultural and building sector, but unlike several other counties, the expectations for the industrial and energy sector are somewhat smaller.

Thirty per cent of enterprises surveyed in Rapla County plan to create new jobs, which means the addition of 24 new jobs. Last year’s survey estimated the creation of 10 new jobs. The most active employment growth is in the industrial and energy sector, where about a half of the new jobs are being created.

Thirty per cent of the county’s enterprises are planning on entering new export markets or expanding their activities on existing export markets. Compared to last year, export optimism has grown by 10 per cent, which is very positive when considering the overall economic situation. The industrial and energy sector is the most active.

On a positive note, 45 per cent of exporters will be making additional investments next year, while only 27 per cent of enterprises in all of Rapla County are planning investments of over EUR 30,000. Compared to other counties, investment expectations are among the lowest in Rapla County, and the most active sectors here are agricultural, industrial and energy.

While last year 87 per cent of the enterprises in Rapla County planned innovation activities, then 59 per cent have this plan for 2014. The main innovations are developing products and services, planned by 35 per cent of enterprises.

This autumn, SEB conducted its second counselling programme across Estonia, in the framework of which representatives from the bank visited 900 Estonian small and medium-sized enterprises in 15 counties to help them prepare a financial analysis for next year.

As part of this counselling project SEB also compiled a survey, called the Business Barometer, which was to map out the entrepreneurs’ expectations for the year 2014. The entrepreneurs assessed future turnover developments, changes in the number of staff, export and innovation plans, and proposed investments in their companies in 2014.