Estonia now has 100,000 digital residents

The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board has issued the 100,000th digital residency ID card; known as the e-residency, the programme that enables foreign citizens to launch a company in Estonia and thus in the EU, was launched in 2014.

The Estonian state-run e-residency programme was launched with the aim of providing foreign nationals safe access to Estonia’s public digital services, while also promoting cross-border entrepreneurship and generating extra revenue for the national budget.

According to the programme, the digital residents have come from 176 different countries and generated over €150 million of state revenue for Estonia in taxes and fees.

Estonia’s e-residency digital ID card kit; photo by e-residency programme.

Estonia’s “ambassadors”

Lauri Haav, the managing director of the programme, said the e-residents were also considered Estonia’s “ambassadors”.

“They spread information about Estonia in their networks and share our digital know-how in other parts of the world, thereby boosting Estonia’s image and influence as an innovative digital nation,” Haav said in a statement.

Edward Lucas, at the time the senior editor of The Economist and a great fan of Estonia, became the first e-resident on 1 December 2014.

“As a secure digital state, Estonia remains several steps ahead of other countries. The e-residency programme has made a tremendous contribution to Estonia’s international reputation, boosting the country’s brand value and enhancing its security, particularly in today’s circumstances,” Lucas said in a statement, marking the milestone on 22 February.

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