Startups in Singapore eyeing the European Union (EU) market will become the first in the world to benefit from a scheme enabling them to open a bank account in the Baltic nation Estonia without needing to travel there, the Singapore newspaper Straights Times writes.
This benefit comes with enrolment in Estonia’s e-residency scheme, which allows non-citizens to perform e-government and e-business transactions in the country. These include setting up a company and a bank account.
Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million people, is near Russia and Scandinavia. It is part of the EU. Under the scheme, set up in early 2014, some 8,000 e-resident cards have been issued, mostly in Europe. The scheme is now being rolled out in South-east Asia via Singapore.
Estonian government and bank officials will travel to Singapore every quarter starting from April to issue e-resident cards and bank cards to those whose e-applications have been approved.
Previously, applicants had to go to the nearest Estonian consulates and embassies – in Shanghai or New Delhi – to get their e-resident cards. Bank accounts could be set up only by travelling to Estonia.