New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The north European country of Estonia is wooing Indian businesses with its e-residency programmme which it says will give access to the European Union (EU) market.
“If you are establishing a company in Estonia, you are establishing a company in the EU,” Estonia’s Minister Entrepreneurship and IT Minister Urve Palo said during an interaction with the media here on Friday.
She said that although the e-residency does not grant citizenship, its holder can become virtual residents in her country.
Estonia is the first country in the world to offer e-residency — a government-issued digital ID available to anyone in the world.
It offers the freedom to every world citizen to open and run a global EU company fully online from anywhere.
E-residents have access to the EU business environment and can use public e-services through their digital identity.
Firms set up through e-residency are “trusted location-independent EU companies”, which allows them to be run remotely from anywhere in the world with low costs and minimal hassles, according to a statement issued during the media interaction.
“They have access to an advanced and secured digital infrastructure along with all the tools required to grow globally,” it stated.
“Indian entrepreneurs now can run their micro-businesses not only in India but grow them with access to the entire EU market. E-residency, therefore, stands for “Make in India and Sell in Europe!”
Palo said that ever since the e-residency programme was started in 2014, there are now 30,000 e-residents of Estonia from 154 countries.
“From India, we have 1,200 e-residents,” she said, adding that one only has to go to the Estonian Embassy here and give the biometrics to become an e-resident.
Applying for e-residency costs 100 euros and registering a company 190 euros.
According to the statement, Estonia is aiming to reach out to the booming Indian startup community through a series of road shows and industry tie-ups in the next 12 months with the target of enrolling over 200 startups during 2018.
During the course of her ongoing visit to India, Palo has met Minister of Law and and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.
“The Indian government is interested in cooperating with us in cyber security and e-governance,” the Estonian minister said.
She said that during her meeting with Akbar, she discussed automatic recognition of Estonian diplomas in India.
There are around 300 Indian students in Estonia.