Workshop’s part in Tallinn gave overview of the economic system in Estonia in order to explain the characteristic features of the environment Port of Tallinn is operating in. European Union financing has also an important part in Estonia’s transport infrastructure development. Ports have directly not much benefited from that yet, but the whole infrastructure has been boosted greatly in order to fulfil the needs for smooth transportation to and from the harbours as well. Port of Tallinn has so far two projects, where EU co-financing is involved: a technical assistance project for breakwater design (50% co-financing) and a project involving dredging and reclamation for new quay line and terminals. Although, these two projects are crucial in the port’s development.
During the discussions it was concluded that all the money invested into ports and related infrastructure can be considered public money,
whether invested by ports themselves or by the state or through EU co-financing. Only Great Britain might be an exception in that.
It was also concluded that it is very hard to finance a port development project with a loan from commercial banks. European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank would also need considerable guarantees and risk management tools. Only states or local communities can give sufficient guarantee for major development.
Despite of considerable difficulties in finding the reasonable ways for financing port development, the ports plan to develop in order to fulfil the rising demand for maritime transport. Here again, faces are turned to the state or to the local community, which could bear at least the costs of hinterland connections.