Estonia opens business hub in Singapore, offering gateway to Nordic-Baltic economies

SINGAPORE – Estonia, one of the European Union’s most digitally advanced economies, on Monday opened its embassy’s new premises as well as a trade and business hub in Singapore.

The Estonian Business Hub, which is located at 18 Robinson Road in the heart of Singapore’s central business district, will serve as an avenue for the two countries to deepen trade and investment ties.

This is the second such hub to open, following the opening of the first Estonian Business Hub in Seoul, South Korea, in January.

Estonia prime minister Kaja Kallas said at the opening ceremony: “Estonian companies see Singapore as a hub and gateway to South-east Asia. And vice-versa, Estonia hopes to be a gateway for Singapore to Europe and the Nordic-Baltic region.”

She said the combined gross domestic product of the Nordic-Baltic region makes it the world’s 9th largest economy.

The eight countries in the region – Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden – have a combined population of about 35 million, with a combined gross domestic product of around 2 trillion euros (S$2.89 trillion).

Singapore deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong agreed with PM Kallas, saying both Singapore and Estonia are well placed as launch pads to their respective regions.

“I am glad that our two countries will be deepening our business ties by expanding cooperation to facilitate such business-to-business link-ups, especially in the areas of technology and innovation, ” DPM Wong said.

He noted that information and communications technology is a promising area to foster business collaboration between the two countries.

In Estonia, government services are available online throughout the year around the clock, with about 98 percent of businesses are established online and 67 percent of Estonians regularly using digital identification in everyday life.

The advanced digital infrastructure has made Estonia a magnet for start-ups from fintech to cleantech, deeptech and artificial intelligence.

Mr Wong said: “Estonia has a vibrant tech start-up scene and we welcome your companies to use Singapore as a base, forge links with local partners and investors, and work together to expand overseas into this part of the world, in Southeast Asia and beyond.”

He said the recently concluded EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will make it even easier for Estonian companies to leverage on Singapore’s regional hub status.

Embassy officials said the business delegation that accompanied PM Kallas was the largest ever to accompany an Estonian prime minister and affirms their high level of interest in Singapore.

PM Kallas said Estonia and Singapore are among the most digitally advanced societies in the world.

“We have a lot to learn from each other, but also to offer the world,” she noted.

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