Chennai, March 11 (IANS) Estonia is inviting Indian students and start-ups to study and incubate their business there, said Urve Palo, the European nation;s Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.
She also said the sectors important for Estonia were information and communication technology (ICT), timber and healthcare/pharmaceuticals.
“Estonia can offer India its expertise in the fields of ICT, cyber security, e-governance and smart cities. But first we have to introduce our country to India. We don’t play cricket,” Palo told IANS here late Saturday.
Estonia, a country with a population of 1.3 million, is the first country in the world to have e-voting and digital signatures.
“Currently there are around 250 Indian students pursuing their post-graduation in Estonia. There is no tution fee for students there. Till under graduation, the language of instruction is in Estonian. So only post graduate courses are there for Indian students,” Viljar Lubi, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications told IANS.
Palo said over 1,000 Indians have taken up e-residency in Estonia with which they can set up companies, transact business and pay taxes but cannot settle down as a citizen.
She said around 30,000 e-residencies have been issued since 2014 when the scheme was launched.
“Now we are focusing on those who are really interested in setting up businesses online in Estonia for issuing e-residency,” Palo said.
According to Palo, Estonia is interested in expanding bilateral trade with India which currently stands at around $200 million.
India majory exports machinery and equipment, garments, knitwear, iron and steel, leather products, coffee, tea, spices, pharma products to Estonia and imports electrical machinery, paper, paperboard and paper pulp.
Part of Palo’s delegation includes some Estonian businessmen involved in smart technologies for vehicles, building automation (residential, commercial) and others.
“We are interested in offering our IOT (Internet of Things) solutions to vehicle makers, fleet operators. With our solution a person can get varied data about his vehicle/fleet,” Teet Praks, Sales and Development, Co-Founder of Comodule told IANS.
Praks said his company is offering the solutions to an Indian electric autorickshaw player and is talks with a major two wheeler manufacturer.
He said the solution can also be fitted by bicycle manufacturers in their products.
“Our solution aims at reducing the overall energy consumption in a building-residential, hospitality and commercial,” Ravio Raestik, Director, Adamation said.
He said the Estonian company would like to participate in the smart city project in India.
During her visit here, Palo met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami, Minister for Industries M.C. Sampath and Minister for Information Technology M. Manikandan and also inaugurated the Honorary Consulate on Friday.