As Estonia's e-Residency program celebrates its seventh anniversary, it enjoys record levels of public support in Estonia as revealed by a recent Norstat survey, with approximately 80 percent of Estonian citizens in favor of the innovative e-governance solution.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Reform) said the e-Residency programme has expanded the Estonian economy beyond its physical borders and increased the country's visibility on the global arena.
"Our e-Residency program has been recognized as one of the strongest national brands in the world. As such, it has boosted Estonia's diplomatic influence across the board - in business, culture and foreign policy. In 2022, we are on track to reach an important milestone - 100 000 e-residents, which means that the worldwide community interested in Estonia's well-being and good fortune continues to grow," Sutt said.
He said numerous companies choose between the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Estonia when setting up their international enterprise.
Lauri Haav, the program's managing director, said Estonia was the first country in the world to offer e-residency and interest in the country's experience remains high around the world. "Taking a cue from Estonia, similar initiatives have also been launched in Lithuania and Dubai, soon to be followed by Portugal and Latvia, with many other countries showing keen interest as well," Haav said.
The survey conducted by Norstat also revealed that nearly half of Estonians consider the e-Residency program as one of the most outstanding national projects launched after the country regained its independence from the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
Haav said e-residents have established 20 percent of all private limited companies registered in Estonia and they are also among the founders of almost a third of Estonian start-ups. Last year, the program's revenue amounted to €20 million.
According to Haav, the screening of applicants is becoming more and more rigorous, together with improvements in ex-ante and ex-post background checks. "When it comes to security, we are not willing to make any compromises. The e-Residency team is collaborating closely with all relevant government agencies to improve these aspects in order to ensure that we welcome honest entrepreneurs who come here with good intentions," Haav said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste