Since regaining its independence in 1991, Estonia has undergone a remarkable economic transformation. By the end of 2000, it had received some US$2.65 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), principally from European countries and the United States, and invested some US$443 million in the other Baltic countries.
FDI has financed green-field investment, mergers and acquisitions, as well as the privatisation of state-owned-enterprises. Creating favourable conditions for FDI and openness to foreign trade have been key elements of Estonia's economic strategy. Estonia has been included in the first wave of accession of new Members to the European Union and it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2000.
The revamping of the old regime and privatisation are practically complete, and special attention is being given to reducing bureaucracy and regulation further. Very few restrictions to FDI remain. Estonia now faces the challenge of keeping up with the competition and catching up with the richer nations.
On 26 July 2001, Estonia became eligible for adherence to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises. This will help to consolidate Estonia's recent achievements and further expand its economic relations with OECD countries and other adherents to the Declaration.
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