This paper aims to analyse the role of outward foreign direct investments in the Estonian economy. The research is based on the macro data provided by the Bank of Estonia and on the results obtained from 70 firms that responded to the survey conducted by the authors in autumn 2001. In the process of research the firms in the sample were classified as follows: by the type of investors (direct and indirect), by the type of investments (production, trade, other services), and by the age of affiliations. It allowed us to find interesting differences in the behaviour patterns of various investors. The survey revealed that market related motives appear to be redominant among the factors that make Estonian firms to invest abroad. The most important effects on the parent company are related to additional market shares gained abroad and enhanced exports. Investments into the other Baltic countries have been more in line with earlier expectations than those into the CIS or the European Union..
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