At today’s cabinet meeting, the government approved the e-Residency 2.0 action plan with the objective to make the e-Residency programme more secure, more beneficial for Estonian entrepreneurs, and more convenient for the e-residency community.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the results of this year’s e-Residency programme have proven that the programme is sustainable and successful in involving entrepreneurs from all over the world. “Although we are grateful for the support of the e-residency community, there is still a lot to do to make this programme even more convenient and beneficial for them,” Ratas said. “The new and ambitious goals of the e-Residency 2.0 programme will help us to meet the continuously growing expectations of e-residents while also creating higher added value for local entrepreneurs and the Estonian state,” the prime minister added.
One of the most important aims of the e-Residency 2.0 action plan is to establish a more secure system to reduce the risks that accompany the use of e-services. A new risk-based pre- and post-control will also be applied when issuing a digital identity document for an e-resident.
Another primary objective of the action plan is to increase the value created by an e-resident for an average Estonian enterprise. In the time the e-Residency programme has been in force, a total of 58,000 e-residents have created 7,200 enterprises in Estonia, employing approximately 1,300 people. Last year, Estonia collected 8.73 million euros in tax revenue from the enterprises of e-residents, but as of the implementation of the e-Residency programme, Estonia has collected 25 million euros in direct economic gain. “The new strategy will enable us to work towards the goal of bringing direct or indirect gain from the benefits of this programme to as many Estonian people as possible,” added Kert Kingo, Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology.
To create a more convenient user environment, an online platform will be developed for e-residents, creating easier access to different services offered by the state and the private sector. Furthermore, alternatives will be considered for today’s smart card-based authentication and digital signing.
According to Ott Vatter, the Managing Director of the e-Residency programme, the first steps are already made in implementing the new action plan. “Pursuant to the amendments made in the Commercial Code, all entrepreneurs who are e-residents have the chance to make a contribution to the share capital of their company and own a bank account in any country of the European Economic Area. We have already made it easier for e-residents to obtain their digital ID-s. This year, we established additional issuing stations in Tokyo, Japan, and San Francisco, U.S., but we are also planning to open stations elsewhere,” Vatter concluded.
In 2018, as a result of cooperation of various experts, a number of proposals were made to further develop e-Residency, published as “The e-Residency 2.0 White Paper”. Based on these proposals, an action plan was developed as a cooperation of several state authorities and the private sector to implement the proposals.