Sunday 28 November 2021 - 8:55:14 am

Estonia presents 'world’s most advanced digital society' at Expo 2020 Dubai: Commissioner-General


By Lina Ibrahim

DUBAI, 25th October, 2021 (WAM) -- 'Digital, Smart, & Sustainable' are the three hallmarks that shape the concept of ‘e-lifestyle’ presented by the Estonian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, according to the Commissioner-General of Estonia at the world's greatest show.

"Estonia presents the most advanced digital society in the world during Expo 2020 Dubai, where everything can be done digitally except for getting married or divorced," Daniel Schaer told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

"The path through the pavilion will tell you the tale of how we have arrived where we are today, but also how we have done this in harmony with nature," he said.

The Estonian pavilion focuses mainly on innovation. The first-floor experience takes visitors into a digital world, while the second floor showcases business opportunities to connect business people.

"We need to recognise that despite the pandemic we are going through a big transition from analogue to digital. The global economy is set to transform, starting from cross-border e-governance solutions that strive for safety in the digital economic ecosystem by promoting state-provided interoperable digital ID models," Schaer said.

Digital tools will offer new opportunities for growth in a geographically neutral way, and in the coming years, the world will see a truly global goods and services market with data systems that suit distanced working habits, according to the Commissioner-General. "Countries will need to create digital systems and data clouds in a way that they would be bureaucracy free, transparent, and open to cooperation," he added.

Speaking about the Estonian pavilion, Schaer said that it has an important place for Estonian educational innovation, which is attracting growing interest from abroad. A smart classroom depicting a modern learning space is shown in the pavilion. "One of the secrets to having a successful start-up and business environment is to develop the smartest people," he said.

The Estonian pavilion also organises, and hosts business events based on the thematic weeks, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Thematic Business Forums, by contributing to the creation of the digital innovation content at these business connection events.

Estonia has over 40 partners from various sectors present in its pavilion, with businesses keen to find cooperation partners in the UAE and GCC region, especially in the fields of IT, smart cities, food, furniture, and defence. "GCC is a very fast developing region and Expo 2020 Dubai is a great opportunity for Estonian companies to showcase their innovative and smart solutions to the world," Schaer said.

The UAE has become the go-to business destination for Estonian companies looking to expand their operations beyond Europe. Estonia, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly popular among the entrepreneurs of Dubai, offering the perfect balance between the edgiest technology and the grandest nature, two of the keywords for this year’s Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Historically, Estonia has taken a three-pronged approach to its relations with the UAE. It opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2019; inaugurated an office of Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian business hub in Dubai; and is now actively participating in Expo 2020 Dubai.

"[We believe] that Expo 2020 Dubai will be the global meeting place for the next 6 months to build a new friendship, discuss global challenges and increase global trade. Estonia’s track record in being a small country that achieves greatness through digital innovation will allow us to proudly share our knowledge and expertise with the UAE and with other participating countries," he added.

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid visited the UAE and the Expo site in September 2019 with the largest business delegation ever to accompany an Estonian President. This was recently followed up by a visit by the Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt with a business delegation. A Memorandum of Understanding on establishing the UAE-Estonia Business Council was signed by the UAE Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Enterprise Estonia.

"This is a big step forward in growing mutually beneficial trade and business opportunities between the UAE and Estonia," Schaer concluded.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed/Lina ibrahim/MOHD AAMIR