Estonian and Japanese companies were looking for cooperation opportunities at a business seminar in Kyoto

13.02.2020 | 00:00

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Kyoto, Japan, 13 February 2020 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas opened a business seminar in Kyoto and encouraged entrepreneurs from Estonia and the Kansai region to establish business contacts. In addition, Prime Minister Ratas had meetings with Takatoshi Nishiwaki, Governor of Kyoto, and Hirofumi Yoshimura, Governor of Osaka, with whom he discussed cooperation on combating climate change and the 2025 World Expo which will be held in Osaka.

Today, in Osaka, the Estonian software company Helmes signed a memorandum of understanding with Shionogi, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, to develop e-health solutions and implement digital prescriptions.

Prime Minister Ratas said at the business seminar that although Kyoto is almost 8,000 kilometres from Estonia, the people of Japan and Estonia have much in common. “We both value our traditions and heritage, are close to nature, care about the environment, and most importantly, we believe that technology can make people’s lives better and more convenient,” said Ratas. “We need innovative solutions to respond to global challenges such as combating climate change. Estonian and Japanese entrepreneurs will find plenty of opportunities for cooperation here,” said Ratas.

According to Prime Minister Ratas, Estonia has been building a digital society since the 1990s and has become a pioneer in many areas, such as e-governance, e-banking, and e-voting. “E-services will make the business sector more flexible, efficient, and transparent,” said Ratas. “We are currently developing new e-services that will make communication with the government easier – this includes using artificial intelligence and a focus on customer-centred solutions,” the prime minister said.

At meetings with Toshizō Ido, Governor of Hyōgo, and entrepreneurs from West Japan, Prime Minister Ratas also discussed e-residency. There are currently about 65,000 e-residents, of which just over 3,000 are from Japan. “E-residency has given people from all over the world the opportunity to use Estonian digital services and access the European Union market. This is beneficial for anyone who wants to do business internationally and comfortably. I am very pleased that nearly five per cent of our e-residents are from Japan and they have created 250 new businesses in Estonia,” said Prime Minister Ratas.

During his visit to Japan, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is accompanied by Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research, Kaido Höövelson, member of the Riigikogu and chairman of the Estonia–Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group, a business delegation comprising representatives of Estonian companies Star Cloud (digital textbooks), BugBox Ltd., Cleveron, K12 Technologies (e-school), Admiral Markets Group, Elcogen, Balsnack International Holding, Planetway, Helmes, RaulWalter, DefSecIntel Solutions, Millennium Invest/Oryaku, Ecomatic, Datel, Aktors, Cybernetica, GoSwift, Tech Heroes Club, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Enterprise Estonia.


Government Communication Unit