Hyderabad: Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, which has developed strengths in the area of technology has initiated talks with Telangana government. Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of Estonia to India has met Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday to explore possibilities for collaboration in areas such as cyber security, e-governance and smart city.
Discussions have been held on how Telangana companies can use Estonia to target Europe. The nation has come out with a format called e-residents that allows foreign individuals to do business in Estonia without having creating physical infrastructure there. So far, Estonia has 1,600 e-residents from India.
Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of Estonia to India, said, “Several Indian e-commerce and fintech companies are operating in Estonia. It works well particularly with the technology companies. We are a part of the European Union and one can operate at a cost of 50 per cent of other Scandinavian countries. In addition to technology, Indian generic companies are also interested to expand their operations in Estonia. Our country is actively involved in pharma research and biotech.”
He added, “The Indian e-residents in Estonia include Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mukesh Ambani. Ministry of IT is closely working with Estonia in the area of e-governance. We have an ongoing cooperation between the countries. IIT Delhi has ties with technology universities in Estonia.”
Companies can operate their business there while physically operating from India. There are 50,000 e-residents from across the world and 10 per cent of them are established companies.
The country also provides accelerator platforms for startups from India, which Telangana-based startups can be benefited. After establishing their operations in Estonia, it becomes easy for companies to spread their business into Europe. These companies can operate in Estonia at a very nominal cost being a small country and technology-enabled.
Estonia which faced a cyber-attack in 2007 took immediate steps to secure itself from such vulnerabilities. In 2008, it was notified as a NATO Centre of Excellence in cyber security. The nation works closely with other European nations in this space. It has also created a defence league by involving cyber experts who can help it to counter attack and provide defence when there is a major attack.
The nation since 2005 allows citizens to cast their vote from their computer and mobile phones if they can’t personally do it. Today, 30 per cent of people cast vote in the country online.
“We have achieved 90 per cent internet penetration in the country. We also emphasise on cyber hygiene among public educating what to do and not to do on internet. This is bringing down the cybercrimes and cyber vulnerabilities,” he said.