The UAE and Estonia can work together to help other countries in entering the digital revolution, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid told Emirates News Agency, WAM, in an exclusive interview on Monday.
President Kaljulaid is currently visiting the UAE along with a business delegation taking part in the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi.
"Between governments, we can work together in development aid and, for example, help African countries leapfrog in using digital technologies," she said.
When asked to comment on trade relations and investment opportunities between the UAE and Estonia, Kaljulaid encouraged business-to-business investments. She noted her country’s trade representative office, Enterprise Estonia, which recently opened in Dubai.
Estonia is also set to open a new embassy in Abu Dhabi this summer as well as participate in Expo 2020 Dubai.
According to the UAE Ministry of Economy statistics, total non-oil trade between the two countries reached US$75.8 million in 2018.
Estonia was named in 2017 by American technology magazine 'Wired' as "the most advanced digital society in the world." Every Estonian is issued a digital ID that can be used for banking and to vote, pay taxes and access healthcare records.
Talking about disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, the President explained that the Estonian government utilises Keyless Signature, KSI, infrastructure, "a method tried and tested for time-stamped signatures, giving you the exact same level of services like various other blockchain technologies but with an advantage that it is low in energy consumption."
According to ‘E-Estonia’, KSI is a blockchain technology designed in Estonia and used globally to "make sure networks, systems and data are free of compromise, all while retaining 100 percent data privacy."
The President also noted the importance of data integrity. "Data can be forwarded from peer to peer, companies to people, and also between government and citizens, this data transfer needs to be in a trustworthy format," she said.
"Estonian people, as a society, are very used to having this kind of government providing a protected ecosystem of safe services and blockchain ... if the government makes promises to people that data is secure in their hands, this with blockchain technologies, can really be guaranteed," she concluded