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Extra resources for Estonia: the transition to a market economy
Furthermore, progress at privatizing medium and large enterprises has been much slower. The government has only recently completed a plan to privatize large enterprises and housing, but the issues have not been fully resolved at the political level. Progress in reforming the financial sector has been mixed. Many commercial banks have been established since 1988, and these banks now account for nearly 20 percent of outstanding credits. Although this has been a positive development, the fact that these banks are partly owned by the state enterprises is of concern.
Sectoral Issues Industry Estonia's industrial sector grew rapidly under the Soviet system and currently accounts for 40 percent of GDP and 33 percent of employment, about three times the shares of agriculture in GDP and employment (15 and 11 percent, respectively). However, the sector employs outdated technologies, is highly energy intensive and polluting, and produces goods whose quality is considered low by international standards. More recently, the sector has suffered from the lack of critical inputs and spare parts, as well as the loss of a major part of the market for its output because of the sharp decline in FSU economic activity.
5 percent. These output and unemployment trends will tend to generate an adverse impact on the budget through various channels. The output decline will reduce revenues from income and payroll taxes, and from the value added tax (VAT). At the same time, there will be pressures for increased expenditures on social programs, especially unemployment benefits and retraining. The persistence of unemployment will probably force the government to increase family allowances and other social programs as well, adding a further fiscal burden.