12 Reasons Why I Love Estonia

Picture: Berg Moe.

I love Estonia. Having been there 27 times since 2003, I could sing the little nation’s praises for days. Below are a few of my experiences, and some fantastic reasons why you too should take a trip to Tallinn and explore what Estonia has to offer the world.

Last summer over 1000 foreign guests and I arrived in Tallinn for the Estonian ICT Week (27 May -3 June) with “Latitude59”, “Industry 4.0 in Practice” conference and “Green IT” seminar and several other great events.

The ICT sector has been one of the most important industries in Estonia. Beginning with governmental e-services, ICT is now most visible in the Estonian startups that are applying their ambitions globally.

Picture: Berg Moe

Estonia is a tech advanced and agile society where the ‘make fast’ mantra hits home. The results of large scale digital-industrial collaborations are beginning to bear fruit at home and abroad, to great expectations.

Recently, Malwarebytes, an internet security firm founded in the US expanded their offices in Tallinn, citing the city’s vibe and awesome IT talent for the switch. People from different corners of the world are traveling to work in Tallinn, and Malwarebytes expects to have 60 people in the office soon.

If you want more information about moving your company to the heart of Europe or of investments in this opportunity-dense region, contact
the Estonian Investment Agency (EIA) of Enterprise Estonia. The EIA is a government agency promoting foreign investments and international relocation in Estonia.

Picture: Berg Moe

IT cooperation has grown primarily with Estonia, who has focused on Norway Grants in green IT — IT for energy, transport and logistics, production and trade, and e-health. These IT subsectors are critical for solving local challenges, as well have global growth potential according to an Ernst & Young study.

Today, Estonia is regarded as one of the most advanced e-governments in the world. The use of technology and digital services is widespread in both the public and private sectors.

Picture: Berg Moe

Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency (a digital identity) to anyone interested in administering business online. e-Residents can digitally sign documents and contracts, verify the authenticity of signed documents, conduct e- banking and execute remote money transfers.

Picture: Berg Moe

Estonia’s tax system is unique and the most competitive tax code in the OECD. First, it has a 20 percent tax rate on corporate income that is only applied to distributed profits. Second, it has a flat 20 percent tax on individual income that does not apply to personal dividend income. Third, its property tax applies only to the value of land rather than taxing the value of real estate or capital.

Finally, it has a territorial tax system that exempts 100 percent of the foreign profits earned by domestic corporations from local taxation, with few restrictions.

Picture: Startup Estonia

There are several events in 2017 relevant for investors and entrepreneurs including “Latitude59” and “Startup Nations”.

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Author: Berg Moe, Oslo, Norway.

Stories at bergmoe.com, Entrepreneur by heart, Angel Investor Facilitator, TEDx speaker and community leader at Gründerklubben and Bangkok Entrepreneurs

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