Estonia – the tiny Baltic nation, home to 1.3 million people has become the leader of the digitized economy and e-governance in the last two decades, 99% of Estonians have access to electronic identification, taxation and almost every other industries are served digitally. The country is moved far ahead in healthcare, public services, transportation, and other industries. In 2018 Index Venture ranked Estonia in the first place on startup-friendly nations and in 2019 Freedom House ranked them the second-best nation for internet freedom. Former USSR republic to one of the most entrepreneurial countries – Estonia evolving!
When the USSR broke down into 15 nations, In 1991 the history of modern Estonia begun, after the rule of Germans, Danes, Poles, and Russians Estonia was struggling to emerge into the list of world nations, but right after their independence from USSR in 1991, the world saw the strategic evolution of Estonia. The first draft of the principles of Estonian information policy was made in 1994 which was a face-changing movement done by the Estonian government. After two years they started e-banking. They also developed their passion for digitalization by conducting an e-cabinet meeting in 2000. In the same year, they made e-taxing and m-parking. But in 2007 the country was attacked by cyber criminals which caused a large threat to the nation’s digital movement, the national parliament, banks, ministries, and news broadcasters. After this incident, the world realized and pointed out the risk of digitalization, but Estonia decided to move further; In 2008 Estonia made a milestone in e-health by e-prescription.
In the year 2014 Estonia made a big move by permitting non-Estonians to have e-residency, which attracted a lot of entrepreneurs and professionals and freelancers where they want to start a business, work or freelance in Estonia. Even though e-residency doesn’t offer any kind of travel document or physical residential permit this program offer formation of company, banking, tax payment, and other services by Estonian government, by this program a large boom was created in entrepreneurship and that paved way for development in income and the government is helped them to develop 4 unicorns in the nation including Skype. Estonia is looking more into cybersecurity, in 2015 they started the first data embassy in Luxembourg on account of cybersecurity.
Amidst concerns about privacy and security, digitalization is considered a tool to improve ease of living and business. Here Estonia itself an example of cybersecurity and data hygiene, in the last five years Estonia has had more than 50,000 e-residents and they are still open for professionals and entrepreneurs. Last year Estonia developed an AI strategy and in the race for AI, they are looking for more on digitalization, technology research, and e-governance. It’s surely by the mindset, imagination, and will of the people and government of Estonia which help them to move further in the digitalization of Estonia.