Estonian, Singaporean presidents discuss coronavirus crisis, digital issues

  • 2021-07-12
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid discussed the coronavirus crisis and exit strategies as well as cyber issues at a meeting with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob on Monday.

Estonia and Singapore are the most advanced digital societies in the world and we share a common passion for innovation and new secure solutions, Kaljulaid, who is on the first ever presidential working visit to Singapore, said on Monday during a meeting with President Halimah Yacob.

The main focus was on the pandemic and national exit strategies, as well as on digital vaccination certificates, which have helped the European Union to ease restrictions and where the next step could be their mutual recognition. Unlike Estonia and Europe, Singapore still has severe restrictions on movement and assembly, which is a major challenge for the region's hub.

The head of state of Singapore also praised the newly opened diplomatic mission of Estonia -- both this and the first visit of the Estonian head of state to this country help to further develop relations between the two countries and are a strong sign of our interest.

As digital states, both Singapore and Estonia depend on cyber security and cyber defense, and Yacob highlighted Estonia's activities in the UN Security Council, especially in the cyber field.

As small and open economies, the presidents also discussed efforts to set a minimum global corporate tax rate. There was also talk of e-residents and digital nomads in general, who work around the world but for whom it is important by the end of the day how they can get services for their tax money in the country where they are currently located.

During the working visit, the Estonian head of state met with several ministers and on Tuesday will speak at ATxSummit, the largest technology summit in Asia. Kaljulaid will also give interviews to CNBC and Channel News Asia, and to GovInsider and The Straits Times.

The president will return to Estonia on Wednesday afternoon.