The Estonian e-Residency Program, which marks its ninth anniversary on December 1, has now made a cumulative contribution to the state budget of more than €200 million.
According to a press release, the program is now moving towards making some significant upgrades. The biggest of which will be moving beyond the use of physical ID cards and implementing a solution for remote identity verification.
According to Sandra Särav, deputy secretary general for economy and innovation at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia's e-Residency program is seen globally as part of a strong national brands, enriching the local business environment and consolidating Estonia's image as one of the world's leading digital societies.
"Our e-Residency program has set a high standard, while also proving to be a profitable export." said Särav.
"Currently, it is the only government-backed e-service package that offers a 100 percent digital user journey for entrepreneurs around the world, who are interested in setting up and running a location-independent international business. Although the program has significantly contributed to opening up Estonia's economy to foreign talent and capital, there is still enormous potential for new companies, business ideas and investments," she added.
"As such, the e-Residency program is Estonia's success story, reflecting the global competitive advantage of our digital society," Särav said.
Liina Vahtras, managing director of e-Residency, added that the program's product development has reached a new level of maturity and is now well positioned to achieve new goals.
"We are evolving from a government startup into becoming a growth-led organization. The competition among the world's leading business environments is intensifying and Estonia's value proposition contains all the advantages necessary to become the top choice for digital nomads and freelance professionals," said Vahtras.
"In addition, we are also offering solutions to remote entrepreneurs and startup founders who need to manage a bigger team to truly succeed. Our main goal is that in addition to setting up new companies, our business-minded e-residents would also choose to maintain and grow their businesses in Estonia. The key is maintaining a focus on the customer journey and continuing with bold product development," Vahtras added.
In her view, it is now time to add updates to the e-residency program to make it take off further in the future.
"To take our user experience to a new level, we hope to move past the plastic ID cards issued to e-residents. In 2025, we plan to pilot an innovative solution for secure remote identity verification, which will benefit not only e-residents but also Estonian citizens," explained Vahtras.
She also stressed that these new solutions have to deliver both increased security and convenience, s these are two areas in which e-Residency makes no concessions.
Estonia launched the world's first e-Residency program at the end of 2014 with the aim of providing foreign nationals with safe access to its public e-services. To date, Estonian e-resident status has been granted to 108,000 individuals (excluding those whose status has been revoked).
So far, the program has generated approximately €200 million in tax revenue and state fees for Estonia.
The program also continues to boost Estonia's international image and spur the growth and investments of Estonian companies that offer services to e-residents and their businesses.
More information about Estonian e-Residency can be found here.
Editor: Michael Cole