Banker: Estonia should make English another state language

06.02.2012, 10:14

Investment banker Joakim Helenius belives that Estonia should make English an official language.

„Take Singapore, one of the world’s most succesful small economies. When Singapore became independent in 1960s, it had a lower GDP per capita than Ghana in Africa. Today, Singapore’s per capita GDP is higher than some rich European countries,” said the banker in an interview to Äripäev.

Helenius told Äripäev that Singapore decided at an early phase to make English one of the country’s official languages. „Now everybody are speaking both English and the local language. If we see how successful Singapore, with English as an official language, has become, we should ourselves why Estonia could not do the same.”

Äripäev writes that, according to Helenius, one key obstacle blocking Estonia to adopt English was that Russians would soon be demanding a similar status for the Russian language.

„I belive that Russian-speakers in Estonia understand that English does not represent any ethnic group living in Estonia, but represents an international language. Anyone in Estonia will benefit if the international image of Estonia improves,” said the banker.