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picture News March, 2 2021
image: “Doing business should not be punished“ “Doing business should not be punished“ - The Estonian government is supporting a liberal tax system and a flat tax rate because we believe that doing business should not be punished. The government and the business community are connected; we both need each other and we should talk and support each other more, said Mart Laar at the Business Breakfast Seminar on Sustainable Growth through Good Governance, Friday November 11th.

Moderated by Andrus Alber, the seminar featured top Estonian and Swedish speakers with Mart Laar and Anders Björck representing the political community, and Raoul Hasselgren, Stefan Stignäs and Ago Vilu representing the business community.

Referring to the current financial crisis in the EU, Anders Björck said that this was created by political leaders not following the Rule of Law and in his opinion a joint EU legislation on financial policies and tax regulations is needed.

SCCE's chairman Anders Hedman initiated a very active discussion with his question; "Is it ethical if politicians, members of government or parliament sit in the boards of private and state owned businesses?"

The opinions on this were both pro and con. Anders Björck said it brings a better understanding between businesses and politics while Mart Laar pointed out the risks for corruption.

The business panelist Raoul Hasselgren, Stefan Stignäs and Ago Vilu agreed that good governance of businesses will secure sustainability, improve the company's reputation and lower the cost of financing.

- You may not like politicians, but you should try to understand why they are doing what they are doing, summarized Andrus Alber, after the lively discussion on why business and politics have difficulties to understand each other.

On behalf of the SCCE Council I would like to thank our moderator, the speakers and all participants for a very straight forward, lively and interesting seminar. My thanks also go the American Chamber of Commerce in Estonia and Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia for a very good cooperation in arranging the seminar.


Kristiina Sikk
SCCE Ombudsman

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