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The Buzz in Estonia: Interview with Martin Simovart of Cobalt

The Buzz in Estonia: Interview with Martin Simovart of Cobalt

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“The Estonian general election took place in March this year, and we are finally able to see the results,” says Martin Simovart, Partner at Cobalt in Estonia. “Politics in Estonia is now quite a mess. The new government is a populist coalition – this means that the situation is unstable and a polarized sentiment has been created.”

That does not seem to affect the general economic situation in Estonia, however, which remains strong. “The economy is quite stable,” Simovart says, “as we see a relative stability in investment. Clients are not affected by the current political situation, and we haven’t noticed any major changes. However, uncertainty exists, and this might change in the future.”

“At this point, our GDP is stable, and somewhere around 4.1%,” he says. “But growth is not as great as it used to be. We can’t be sure if general uncertainty caused that slowing down, but we might see it slow even more in the upcoming period.”

Still, he says, the M&A market – which he describes as being “incredibly lively” in 2018 – is “still pretty busy.”

Simovart sounds fairly cynical about government proposals for infrastructure development in the country. “In terms of projects taking place,” he says, “we see that the government has promised a few new railway and road connections – but it is very hard to tell if and when anything they promised will actually turn out to be true.”

Still, Simovart acknowledges that recent legislative developments are encouraging. “There have been recent initiatives to change the Commercial Law,” he says, “although we are still waiting for that to be finalized. Once done, these changes will assure freedom of entrepreneurship, which is a great initiative.” And there’s more. “A large amount of regulations are also coming as a mandatory legislative change from the EU,” he says. “Those mostly involve climate and sustainability regulations, as well as financial regulatory regulations which are a growing trend within the Union.”

Simovart says that he would not welcome the government's proposed change to the Estonian pension system, which he describes as "short-sighted -- and although it may in the short term boost the GDP, in the long run it is damaging for the pension funds, investors, and the country's sustainability to deal with pension payments in the future."

Otherwise, he says, he hopes for “a better government in the future, one that would be forward-looking, and one that doesn’t create more mess, but resolves the existing one.”

Estonian Knowledge Partner

COBALT is closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, making us one of the largest law firms in the Baltic market. 

COBALT is a trusted partner for daily matters and complex large-scale transactions and disputes. The firm’s broad spectrum of expertise and established position as the market leader give a comprehensive basis for providing advice on special areas of business law.

We advise top international and regional businesses, financial institutions, state and local governments, and the region’s most promising start-ups. We offer leading-edge solutions in key industry sectors: Consumer Products, Trade & Distribution, Real Estate & Construction, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Energy & Utilities, Communications, Media & Technologies, Financial Services, Transport & Logistics.

COBALT has been named Baltic Law Firm of the Year 6 times. We were recognized as the Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the Baltics at the IFLR European Awards in London. COBALT also won CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Award for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the overall Baltic Deal of the Year, at the 2019 CEE Legal Matters Awards. We have received multiple awards from the Chambers Europe, IFLR, The Lawyer and Mergermarket and we are regularly listed amongst the top performing M&A legal advisors in the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket deal tables

More information on Cobalt can be found at www.cobalt.legal

All News about Cobalt can be found here.

 

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