The need to share the Estonian model of “electronic economy” in Georgia

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A Business Forum organized by the Georgian and Estonian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Embassy of Georgia in Estonia was held on October 3-6 in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and I, David Tsirdava CEO of Geosilkroad, had the honor of being part of the Georgian business delegation that visited Tallinn and shared the great potential that Estonia has in digital and technology fields. The Estonian experiences that we learned and shared during the visit gives me a basis for saying that Georgia should constantly strive to gain an in-depth understanding of Estonian practices and use them for a better future of the country.

Information Technologies (IT) is the main priority of Estonia and each project related to computer or communications is funded. With such selfless work, Estonia has made incredible strides in the field of information technology and emerged around the world as an advanced “E-economy” country, and the development of the digital industry has finally established Estonia as a country with strong and sustainable business and economy.

Estonia was the first country in 2014 to introduce an innovative project called “E-residency”, which allows people living outside Estonia to obtain e-citizenship status in Estonia and then establish / manage companies in Estonia and open bank accounts remotely. In recent years the number of “e-citizens” has increased significantly.

An important direction of Estonia’s success is the active support of startups, in connection with which in 2015 Estonia was ranked first in the world in the number of startups per capita. The support of startups in this country is due to such important factors as: simplified rules for registration of companies (including distance), liberal tax environment, active support of students in the education sector, investment in IT resources, etc. There is a separate legal regime for startups in the country and comprehensive support for startup companies is provided. Estonia’s most famous digital successes: Skype and Bolt were created as a startup in the university space and today the development of this digital industry continues unabated.

The active establishment of startups has become noticeable in Georgia in recent years. The State is funding a number of technology projects in this regard, but more and more drastic action is needed to achieve greater success. Holding Geosilkroad is taking the first steps in the field of information technology, within the framework of which its subsidiary Geoinnovate has just been established, with the ambitious goal of becoming a successful international company.

Estonia currently has an e-Governance Demonstration Center (e-Estonia), which was established in Estonia in 2009 and is now considered one of the most popular places to visit. The Demonstration Center hosts a large number of guests each year, including leaders from different countries, with the aim of introducing visitors to the concept of e-government and its success story in Estonia.

In the final analysis, information technology is precisely the field and industry that is a prerequisite for the rapid development of each country. In this regard, it is important for Georgia to be actively involved in the process of sharing Estonian experience and to connect the future of growing economic development to the digital world.

Author: David Tsirdava
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