Estonia is the country with the highest number of unicorns per capita in the world. It is also a country of digital signatures and paperless communication with 99% of government services available online. Where else could you establish a company in 3 hours?
As a flagship tax-competitive country in the whole OECD we are also talking 0% income tax on retained and reinvested profits, clear stock options regulation, plus double taxation treaties with at least 60 countries. Add the affordable high quality of life, top-notch human capital, as well as a trustworthy legal system to the equation, and you have the most favourable and thriving business climate in existence.
11:00 Business Exhibition and B2B meetings
Showcasing Estonian companies ranging from IT and health tech to high fashion introducing their bEST innovations
12:00-13:15 Forum QuEST Estonia
12:00 Welcoming remarks by Daniel Schaer, Commissioner General of the Estonian Pavilion
12:05 President of Estonia Alar Karis
12:10 Welcome words by UAE- Estonian Business Council
12:15 Ask an Estonian:
Fireside chat: Digital Estonia - What is it? From nothing to the most advanced society in the world – Anna-Greta Tsahkna, Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL)
How to do business with Estonians? Sonny Aswani, an entrepreneur for 30 years in Estonia
Why are we an ESTonishing destination for tourists? - Liina Maria Lepik, Director of Estonian Tourist Board at Enterprise Estonia
Why has Estonia 1st e-residents program in the World? Lauri Haav, Managing Director at e-Residency, Enterprise Estonia
Why has Estonia the most startups per capita in the world? Martin Villig, Co-Founder of one of Estonia`s unicorns Bolt, Co-Founder of Kood Jõhvi (Startup Estonia)
Moderated by Brandy Scott (journalist at The Business Breakfast, Dubai Eye 103.8)
13:15- 14:00 Networking
Daniel Erik Schaer
Estonia Commissioner General to EXPO 2020 Dubai
Daniel Schaer has been working at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 15 years. He has previously been Estonian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. As Ambassador at large – Special Diplomatic Representative of the President for Africa – , Daniel also helped run Estonia’s successful UN Security Council Campaign.
Anna-Greta Tsahkna is the founder and CEO of Timbeter and Vice-President of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Timbeter is an innovative, global AI-based solution that enables quick, accurate and transparent digital measurement of timber and data management. Timbeter helps the forestry industry to save time and costs by making processes more objective and transparent, enabling better control and fair trade.
Sonny Aswani has been an early investor in Estonia since 1994 which includes reviving the Estonian pulp and paper industry. He acquired the previous KGB building in old town Tallinn and converted it to luxurious apartments. He has continued to invest in many of the Estonian start-ups that have emerged in the following years. He has also served as the Honorary Consul of Estonia in Singapore from 1998 till 2021. For his invaluable contribution to Estonia, he has received numerous accolades and honors – namely being the first foreigner to receive the Estonian Honorary Citizenship in 2000 from former Estonian President Mr Lennart Meri, and the prestigious White Cross medal from the Estonian President in 2001. And in 2014, he was awarded by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his vital contribution in establishing bilateral relations between Estonia and Singapore.
Liina Maria Lepik
Liina Maria is the Director of the Estonian Tourist Board since March 2020 when the tourism as we knew it ended. Her previous background has been in different sectors - she was active in finance sector over a decade, years in film industry and before entering tourism with the “great covid” years as Estonian digital society promoter managing e-Estonia Briefing Centre. e-Estonia and Estonia as a tourism destination are something that she is extremely proud of and keen enthusiast to promote both. Small in size, but big in experiences!
Lauri Haav leads Estonia’s e-Residency programme, a government startup that has revolutionised how a country can serve entrepreneurs outside its borders. Since 2014, e-Residency has empowered global startup founders and freelancers alike by providing them with a secure means of digital identification and the ability to register a truly location-independent business in an EU member state and e-Estonia.
Martin Villig is an entrepreneur who started and sold his first startup in 1998-1999. He is the co-founder of Estonian unicorn Bolt (formerly Taxify), the leading European on-demand transportation platform with more than 100 million passengers in over 45 countries. He is a leading figure in the Estonian startup community, having co-founded Estonian Startup Leaders Club and Garage48 Foundation, which organizes hackathons across Europe. In 2018, Martin co-founded a €1 million foundation to kickstart new education initiatives in Estonia. Martin and Markus Villig have been awarded E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in Estonia.
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