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Estonia: The EU Member State Closest to China
News sources:CHTF Organizing Committee Release Date:2017-11-19

The e-government system of Estonia takes the lead in the world, with 99% of its national services conducted online. “There are only three things that cannot be done online, i.e., marriage, divorce and real estate purchase”. In May 2017, China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) Overseas Session was successfully held in Estonia. In this CHTF, what is the Estonian Pavilion looks forward to accomplish?

Mrs. Anneli Vilu, Director of Trade and Investment at the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in China, told the reporter that as long as a person held e-residency of Estonian, an EU company could be registered online. Moreover, it only took 18 minutes for dealing with the formalities. With the e-residency, the holder may pay taxes, sign documents using electronic signature and open bank accounts online. “Now we have about 27,000 e-residents from 147 countries and they have opened more than 4,000 companies. We aim to bring this service to more people so that the world will be increasingly e-enabled and people are connected more closely.”

In addition, Estonia has well-developed infrastructure and logistics. It is very convenient to transport goods from Estonia to Northern, Central and Eastern Europe and Africa via the e-customs system. Geographically speaking, Estonia is an EU member state closest to China. The air line from Beijing to Estonia is the shortest among the routes from Beijing to the rest EU member states. The geographical advantages will deepen cooperation between the two countries in the future. Some leading enterprises of China have taken the lead in securing a place in Estonia. Mrs. Anneli gave two examples as follows – Estonian Post and Shenzhen-based S.F. Express had set up a joint venture. Every day, flights from China land in Estonia, bringing in goods that are sold from Estonia to over 100 countries. In addition, Didi also established cooperation with Taxify from Estonia. By joining hands with Taxify, Didi may take advantage of the presence of Taxify in 18 countries in Europe and Africa to promote its own development.”

China is the largest trading partner of Estonia in Asia, with the trade volume between the two countries even exceeds that of Estonia’s trade with the United States and the United Kingdom. The two countries have maintained good diplomatic relations over the past 25 years. Thanks to the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, relations between China and Estonia are now at their best. Cooperation between the two countries in economy, culture, education and tourism is booming and extensive. “We are eager to cooperate with China in ICT (information, electronics and telecommunications); in addition, there are still many fields of cooperation in terms of manufacturing, environmental protection, solar energy, wind energy, food and beverages”, Mrs. Anneli pointed out.