04.08 2017

e-Residency – Estonia’ s contribution to the world

Kaspar Korjus, the leader of e-Residency program in Estonia spoke at the “World changers school 2017” conference that e-Residency as a unique worldwide concept and it’ s good aspects should be viewed as Estonian contribution to the world.

Today, exactly one week ago, I was in maternity hospital in Tallinn, Pelgulinna. Can’t say it was a great day, because as everybody knows, the childbirth is difficult for women and it is also a great challence for father to be the main support during those moments.

But of cource it was the most happiest day of my life, everything went well.

I know I helped to deliver my baby who is going to live in the technology-driven world that is global and full of possibilities.

And I also know that my baby boy Ruufus has all the possibilities to make it in this life.

He has the opportunity to discover and find his passion and live it. This feeling is so powerful.

However, most people in the world do not have this opportunity. The World Bank estimates that 73% of the world’s citizens are still not able to perform themselves in global economic arrangements. They do not have access to financial and business services or they live in an overly corrupt country or for other reasons – they can not go to the world with their own ideas.

One of the reasons that keeps people back is because we are born into different countries and living different lives. What do these countries mean? Countries for me are such fictional communities that agree on some rules and norms and then put mental and physical boundaries between people. And if you are born on the wrong side of the border, you might as well gonna try luck in the next life, because the country’s stamp will usually be forever on you.

The charm of e-Residence

Two and a half years ago, the state gave me control over something like e-residence. In essence, e-residence is nothing more than the fact that foreigners receive a number from the Estonian country that we read as their digital identity.

It is important to point out that it does not give anyone the right to live in Estonia, but it gives us the opportunity to offer our own e-services to other people around the world; where they live today. We can help people in the world to establish companies, sign documents with digital signature, transfer money more easily and so on. This is the charm of e-services, they are easy to expand.

I think that, two and a half years ago, we did not yet realise what it really meant to Estonia and to the world. E-residency means that, we have lost the boundaries of the state of digitally. We want all the good people to be our digital citizens. What are the opportunities and rights of a digital citizen – all of this is for us to develop ourselves.

We started with where we are most able to achieve most, by opening our business environment for everyone.

Today, e-residence provides an opportunity to establish and manage a company in the European Union independently of its location. We took it as a national startup, initially we had to travel four times in Estonia to open the company and bank account. A few weeks ago, at the Latitude59 conference, I announced that from now on we have also solved the problem and e-residents no longer have to visit Estonia beforehand.

Estonia’s contribution to the world

As a result, since the very first days, the e-resident has been a great success.We have over 20,000 e-residents from 137 different countries, who manage more than 3,000 businesses.

Their problem has been serious enough to visit Estonia’s representations and Estonia itself, to obtain part of our digital offer.

The greatest interest comes from those countries whose citizens are facing internal problems in the country. . For example, people from Ukraine, Turkey, India. They do not have the opportunity to do business today on the global market– Starting with the fact that foreign currency payments can not be received. Now they set up a company, a bank account, build a PayPal e-store, and sell their products and services internationally.

This means that, as a country, we have established an opportunity for all people in the world to engage in international business in such a way that you will never have to leave home.

Every country should find its role in the world. Iceland is as a guardian of the Nordic values, the Vatican city as a guardian of religion, THE US as a guardian of democracy. Estonia’s contribution to the world is to give people the chance to realise themselves.A nd at least I want to live in a country that makes a difference to the world.