How Estonia became a gateway to Europe for established businesses and startups

India and Estonia signed two MoUs in 2019 on cybersecurity, e-governance, and other digital technologies. Speaking at YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks 2021, Katrin Kivi, Estonia’s Ambassador to India, talks about how the two countries can contribute to each other’s growth.

It has been six years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Digital India’ campaign, and the government has since been rapidly making efforts to enhance cybersecurity in the country and advance the digital transformation. 

In 2019, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had also visited Tallinn in Estonia, one of the most digitised countries with a large business delegation. Speaking at the 12th edition of YourStory’s flagship startup-tech event, TechSparks 2021, Katrin Kivi, Ambassador at Estonia to India, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh reveals cybersecurity and digital cooperation between India and Estonia.

“Venkaiah Naidu’s visit put Estonia on focus as we have seen increasing business opportunities. During the visit, Indian and Estonia signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cybersecurity, e-governance, and other digital technologies,” she said.

Despite India being bigger than Estonia – both in terms of size and population, Katrin says that these official cooperations will amplify the countries’ achievements.  

India-Estonia cooperation

Estonia is known for its e-governance and blockchain technology. Katrin says that the country had adopted online voting since 2005; they are leaders in cybersecurity, and almost all public services are available online – be it filing taxes, registering childbirth, or renewing the driver’s license. Estonia’s private sector also has a big role to play, with the country having its unique digital society and e-governance, and many companies have found partners to work in India. 

“There are more than 3,000 Estonian e-residents from India, and they have established more than 500 companies in Estonia. Several great examples to give are Mukesh Ambani who has set up a Jio Research Centre in the country. Another example is Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which is also enlarging its presence,” she added.

Katrin further says that both countries have made significant achievements in digital technologies, and the mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Estonia will further strengthen the cybersecurity and digital transformation goals.  

The gateway to Europe

Estonia also has a special digital nomad visa programme for established founders, entrepreneurs and startups, where they can set up a company in Estonia and operate digitally (remotely) in the European market, while being physically present in India or elsewhere.

“During these trying times of COVID-19, it is a wonderful opportunity for people who want to establish their business in Europe, where they can establish their business, file taxes, and everything else online,” Katrin explains. 

She also highlighted that the investment outlook of Estonia is very positive, and underscores that the ease of doing business, a competitive tax system, highly transparent operations, stable and proactive government and its policies, world-class skilled manpower, and global orientation of the country, as a whole, makes Estonia a dynamic and progressive country worth exploring. 

Katrin concluded by saying, “innovation is no longer a choice but it is a default setting for an ambitious economy. There aren’t any obstacles to operate even more and so let’s do it for the benefit of our both countries.”

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Edited by Kanishk Singh


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