Frankfurt/Main, June 6, 2017 – Filling prescriptions, submitting tax returns, voting - you can do all this online from the comfort of your home as an Estonian citizen. The Baltic country is a pioneer in e-government and has set the goal of facilitating all interactions between citizens and the state with electronic services. How digital administration is helping to drive the economy of Estonia, Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu, recently explained during the first discourse evening of the newly created Nortec Forum.
The Nortec Forum is an initiative of the Estonian Honorary Consulate in Hesse. It provides an exchange platform for the German and Nordic economy concerning state-of-the-art technology. For the first event, more than 40 selected entrepreneurs and business representatives were invited to the premises of Frankfurt-based digital agency Cocomore, which is a partner of the project.
More start-ups per capita than in any other European country
In Estonia there are more start-ups per capita than in any other European country. Starting a business can be done quickly and easily online. But these are not the only economic advantages that “e-Estonia” brings with it. Running processes digitally reduces costs: online elections are 2.5 times cheaper. And digital signatures alone save Estonia up to two percent of the gross domestic product per year. These savings are passed on by the state in the form of tax reductions for its citizens, as Urmas Klaas explained in his lecture.
The Estonians trust in digitalization. Regarding the question of a listener about what is missing in Germany for the digital change, Urmas Klaas answered: "Education is most important. Things like programming and robotics are on the curriculum in Estonia. But politics must also do its part, especially by adapting legislation. Without such legislation, the change in Estonia would not have been possible. "
Urmas Klaas is one of the most important political figures of Estonia. He has been the Mayor of Tartu since 2014. The country's second largest city is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and one of the youngest start-up scenes.
New lecture format with examples of successful digital change
"Estonia is one of the European flagship nations on digitization. German companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, are having a lot of catching up to do and are often skeptical about the issue," explains Astrid von der Malsburg, honorary consul of Estonia in Hesse. "A presentation of the high-tech scene of Estonia and other Nordic countries within the framework of the Nortec Forum is intended to provide new impulses and reduce inhibitions."
"Digital transformation is one of the most important topics for top managers and politicians. While in Germany much remains in theory and discussion, there are practical examples of successful, far-reaching digital change in other countries," says Hans-Ulrich von Freyberg, CEO of Cocomore. "As an agency for marketing and IT, we see it as our job to promote digital change. That is why we support the Nortec Forum." Cocomore was not only host of the first discourse evening, but also developed the logo and corporate design for the new initiative.
About the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Estonia in Hesse
The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Estonia in Hesse promotes economic cooperation and maintains trade relations between Estonia, Hesse and Germany. For this purpose, it works closely with ministries, authorities and public institutions, provides economic and cultural contacts and promotes economic, cultural and social projects. For more information see www.estland-hessen.de.
Press contact honorary consulate of the Republic of Estonia in Hesse:
Astrid von der Malsburg, Honorary Consul of Estonia in Hesse,
Tel.: +49 (0) 69 / 874 030-750 | E-Mail: honorarkonsulin [at] estland-hessen [dot] de
As an agency for marketing and IT, Cocomore develops communication, e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions with a total of 170 employees at the Frankfurt, Cologne, Geneva (Switzerland) and Seville (Spain) locations. Cocomore's clients include Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Merz, Otto, Sanofi, and the German Association for Heavy Machinery and Plant Engineering (VDMA). The agency has implemented projects in more than 30 countries. More information is available at www.cocomore.com.