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e-Residents from Singapore can soon open Estonian bank accounts without travelling to Estonia

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.

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