Since independence, Estonia has dismantled a Soviet-era system of trade barriers and tariffs to become one of the world's most free-trading nations. In the early 1990s, exports to the west quadrupled, helping to generate a strong surplus in the current account. More recently, however, the balance of trade on goods has been negative. nstrained by its currency board system, stands to grow by attracting foreign capital. Services and capital inflows have produced income in the form of foreign direct investment, which remains strong.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2002 the purchasing power parity of Estonia's exports was $3.4 billion while imports totaled $4.4 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $1 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 2001 Estonia had exports of goods totaling $3.34 billion and imports totaling $4.13 billion. The services credit totaled $1.64 billion and debit $1.07 billion. The following table summarizes Estonia's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 2001 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||-787|
|Balance on services||578|
|Balance on income||-281|
|Direct investment abroad||-200|
|Direct investment in Estonia||539|
|Portfolio investment assets||13|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||83|
|Other investment assets||-298|
|Other investment liabilities||171|
|Net Errors and Omissions||-13|
|Reserves and Related Items||40|