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Ida-Viru

Ida-Viru industries and business activities are mainly located along the Baltic coast, making innovation in maritime sector a crucial topic for the development of the region.

The region in brief

Ida-Viru County is situated in north-eastern Estonia on the border with Russia. Its location, adjacent to both north-west Russia and Finland, tend to favour the development of trilateral economic links of transit and border trade. The County has long-standing traditions in manufacturing and production, modern vocational centres and branches of universities. The region possesses a highly developed technical infrastructure and logistical network.

Total area of the county is 3364 km2, covering 7,4% of the area of the whole country. With its population of 147 597 Ida-Viru County is the second largest region in Estonia. The county has a total of 20 local governments: 5 towns and 15 parishes. The major cities, home to 80% of the region’s population, are: NarvaKohtla-Järve, Sillamäe, Jõhvi (the county administrative capital) and Narva-Jõesuu.

The county accounts for 8% of Estonian GDP and holds most of its industrial and energetic capacity, producing 14% of Estonian industrial yield. The employment rate is 52,1%, which is quite low compared to other places in Estonia.

Ida-Virumaa has a long-distance seaport in Sillamäe and small harbours. Ida-Viru County’s main tourist attractions include areas for active tourism (e.g. former industrial areas which are now used as attractions); spa hotels and beaches on the coast of Gulf of Finland and Peipsi lake, as well as historical objects.

The blue economy in Ida-Viru today

Historically, Ida-Viru has been a very diverse region with trade, heavy industry and manufacturing traditions. According to the Estonian Regional Development strategy, the preferred sectors for Ida-Viru are:

  • oil-shale energy;
  • chemical industry;
  • logistics;
  • tourism.

Smart specialization areas for Estonia (in general) are:

  • ICT supporting other sectors;
  • Health technologies and services;
  • Resource efficiency.

Presently, the most important economic activities in Ida-Viru county according to RIS3 research are more niche and linked with general sub-sectors. In addition to chemical industry, logistics and tourism, they include coke and refined petroleum products, machinery equipment repair and mounting and manufacturing (leather and apparel).

Ida-Viru industries and business activities are mainly situated along the coast and maritime issues are horizontal. The Blue Growth long-term strategy is integrated into other themes of Ida-Viru’s regional development strategy economic fields:

  • development of maritime transport (cargo ships and passenger travel):
    • to increase and ensure safety levels for liquid chemicals and petroleum transportation;
    • to re-establish passengers’ regular travelling to the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland;
  • development of high added value food, nutrition production and health, eco-system services:
  • coastal tourism and living environment:
    • to extend the duration of the touristic season with unique, innovative services and attractions;
    • to create and develop a small harbours’ network for leisure boats, coastal tourism and an attractive living environment in the region.

There are R&D challenges in every sector mentioned above, especially those connected to:

  • maritime knowledge to improve the overall access to information about the sea (incl. provision of continuous training and activities for locals;
  • maritime spatial planning to ensure sustainable management and development of regional activities at sea and along the coast;
  • providing authorities with information and guidelines about maritime activities: planning and provision of on-water border control, safety and security; fisheries control; environmental issues. 

The blue economy of tomorrow in Ida-Viru – our vision

The Blue Growth strategy and activities contribute to diversity and internationalisation of the region’s entrepreneurship environment:

  • Sustainable expansion and development of Sillamäe port as the main regional logistics centre (water roads - railway - highway);
  • Increasing trade flows;
  • Increase of water-travelling passengers, providing an alternative North-South corridor through Sillamäe - Kotka/Hamina;
  • Existing machinery repairing enterprises provide works for maritime needs;
  • Aquaculture is integrated into the regional food-production sector;
  • Maritime culture and activities support tourism and the creative industries’ development.

Blue Growth information and knowledge in the region is growing:

  • Stakeholders act according to information and guidelines for sustainable maritime development in the region;
  • Locals get training and information about maritime issues;
  • Regional Centre of Competence provides links to chemical industry.

Environmental condition of the Gulf of Finland is continuously improved through:

  • Reconstructions of small harbours and port infrastructure;
  • Increased quality of harbours services;
  • Increased safety and security of maritime transport;
  • Decreasing of inland inflows and air pollution.

Increased diversity of aquacultures in the Gulf of Finland:

  • Research-based aquaculture;
  • Research-based and sustainable coastal tourism development.

Coastal living environment and costal infrastructure is attractive and enchanting maritime tourism and regional development:

  • Maritime tourism is based on innovative and year-round services and attractions;
  • Maritime culture is widely acknowledged and used for regional development.

Regional contact in Ida-Viru

For more information on the regional blue economy in Ida-Viru, please contact:

  • Hardi Murula

    Hardi Murula

    email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Regional partner in Ida-Viru

Partner profile

Read our blue economy factsheet for Ida-Viru!