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Minister: Estonia could be a world leader in data economy

Minister of IT and Foreign Trade Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200).
Minister of IT and Foreign Trade Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Estonia 2035 strategy stipulates that the Estonian economy is responsible for both people and the environment, while the goal is to move in the direction of flexible, innovative and responsible business, IT and Foreign Trade Minister Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200) says.

Minister Riisalo said:  "The basis of all this is the data economy. Estonia could be leader of a new economic model, one which will contribute to ventures that create added value." 

A data economy is defined as a global digital ecosystem in which data is gathered, organized, and exchanged by a network of companies, individuals, and institutions to create economic value.

"Sustainability can be ensured by correct data. But in order to get this without adding to the administrative burden of entrepreneurs, the state will come to the rescue," Riisalo went on, via a ministry press release.

The third real-time economy conference entitled "Sustainable entrepreneur and personal state" and organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications saw experts stress that organized data and its cross-platform use are prerequisites before state services can reach a new, personalized state level – a key Eesti 200 policy in fact.

This real-time economy involves firms communicating with each other and with the state via a digital data exchange, automatically and in real time

Sandra Särav,  deputy secretary general with the responsibility for economy and innovation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications , added: "In a thin state like Estonia, duplication of services, environments and data requests is unacceptable."

"This makes it the state's responsibility to ensure that it does not duplicate all types of business-related environments, and that it adheres to the principle of one-time operation and entry and the cross-use of data. We also have room for improvement in cutting down on over-regulation," Särav said.

"This is where personal state, real-time economy and sustainability come together to make the most of the collected data. Estonia could be the country with the largest data economy in the world," Särav went on.

Ats Albre, head of Nortal Estonia and president of the Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunications Union (Eesti Infotehnoloogia ja Telekommunikatsiooni Liidt), said that Estonia's 2035 development plan is ambitious and adequate, but added there is still a long way to go. 

In a presentation, Albre pointed out that today's entrepreneurs expect Estonia to have the most comfortable business environment in the world.

However, Albre said:  "More data requires more trust in the country."

"Today we are in a good place and therefore we can develop such services. But the development of new services in turn brings responsibility. We could reach a business environment where more foreign business-people also want to come here," Albre went on.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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