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Estonia, Canada sign digital cooperation agreement

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas visited Canada earlier this week. May 2018.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas visited Canada earlier this week. May 2018. Source: Triin Oppi/Riigikantselei

President of the Treasury Board of Canada Scott Brison and Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE) have signed a digital cooperation agreement between Canada and Estonia primarily concerning the development of e-governance and artificial intelligence.

Estonia and Canada are already actively cooperating in the digital field, and the new agreement presents another opportunity to further strengthen this cooperation, Palo said in a press release on Thursday.

"Our cooperation agreement with Canada sums up the mutual interests determined in the past year," she explained. "We want to continue with joint projects as well as the exchange of ideas and experience in the field of e-governance and artificial intelligence."

Canada's government is carrying out a modernisation of its e-state, in the course of which the country is interested in learning about the opportunities offered by the high-security X-Road data exchange layer used by public sector institutions in Estonia; Canada is considering implementing the same technology.

"The X-Road would enable Canada's residents to use public e-services similarly to how it's done in Estonia," Palo said. "Thanks to the X-Road, state databases can interact with each other and Estonians can use, for example, pre-filled out tax returns and our population registry can gather necessary data without people having to submit these separately."

While Canada is interested in learning about Estonia's e-governance and its public sector's data exchange experience, Estonia's goal is cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Canada is one of the leading countries in the world in the field of AI research and development and is planning to actively implement it in the public sector. Estonia wants to cooperate with Canada to draw up a policy framework to responsibly implement AI solutions in Estonia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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