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President Kaljulaid: social benefits in general must be taken into consideration for e-residency

President Kaljulaid: social benefits in general must be taken into consideration for e-residency © Office of the President

12.09.2018

Yesterday in Kadriorg, Tallinn, the representatives of public authorities and private sector related to the e-residency programme came together to conduct an intermediate review of Project e-residency 2.0 and agree upon further steps.

Since 2014 Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency, a government-issued digital ID available to anyone in the world. The program allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. Esotnia now has more than 40,000 e-residents from 150 countries.

According to President Kersti Kaljulaid, e-residency represents an important project for Estonia, and the co-operation between public and private sector is of utmost importance. "We must consider whether e-residents are a community of our friends, an e-services platform for entrepreneurs all over the world or something entirely different. We must also come to an understanding, together, on what the benefits of the programme could be for Estonians – a business person in Võru or accountant in Saaremaa," said the President of the Republic after the meeting. When rating the outcomes of today's meeting, the Head of State emphasised the importance of the significant amount of work done over the summer, as well as the continued involvement of those whose are overwhelmed by the risks related to e-residence.

At the beginning of the summer, various stakeholders involved in the e-residency programme were convened to the same place by the Head of State to reach a common understanding on how to enhance the benefits of the programme for the Republic of Estonia and society in general. Work groups that have come together during the interval today gave an overview of intra-institutional risk analysis and possible opportunities for taking the programme to a new level.

According to the leader of e-residency programme, Kaspar Korjus, intensive work is about to begin in the near future to prepare a further development programme for e-residency as a product and specify the focus of e-residents. "We have come to an agreement that by December of this year, a road map that is approved by everyone involved will be available to travel further," said Korjus.

The mapping of risks related to e-residents was led by Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior, Raivo Küüt. He stated the importance of a clear message: the e-residency programme needs to be transparent and there will be no tolerance for tax invasion. "We will adopt all measures possible to anticipate possible damages. We have made a list of e-residency related risks with our partners and are about to update the plans for the management of such risks," said Küüt.

Rene Tammist, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, said that the e-residency programme has a number of positive impacts and revenues gained this year alone have exceeded all the expenses made on the programme in the years of implementation. "Our country has also gained publicity, new allies and thus also security. But it is important to listen to the feedback from entrepreneurs to improve the product further. The e-residency programme must give Estonian enterprises more opportunities to export their products and services throughout the whole world."

The e-residency road map 2.0 will be prepared following the outcome of the efforts of work groups; the map will be published in December and used as the platform to update e-residency to an improved version 2.0.

More information about the programme: https://e-resident.gov.ee/