NEW DELHI: Estonia would be happy to provide any assistance to India for a single multipurpose identity card should the Indian government seek its help, the Baltic country’s Ambassador to India Katrin Kivi said on Thursday.
Kivi said she had read about Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent statement that there was a need for a single identity card.
Estonia, whose e-government infrastructure and digital penetration are among the top in the world, could provide the expertise for the purpose, she said.
Estonia has had a single multipurpose identity card for some years now. Among the services its citizens can avail of through the card are banking, taxation, health, transportation, mobile parking, social benefits and voting. It can also serve as a passport in Schengen countries.
The two countries explored ways to strengthen ties to promote e-governance during the meeting between Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on Wednesday, Kivi said.
India and Estonia signed a memorandum of understanding on cybersecurity and e-governance during Indian Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to the Baltic States last month. “It is time we implement the MoU,” Kivi said.
The newly-appointed Ambassador said among her priorities would be to deepen trade and business relations. She said Indian investment in Estonia had increased by 43 per cent in the recent past while Estonian investment here was up by 31 per cent. The volume of trade between the two countries was 119 million euros.
Kivi said Estonia would become a member of the UN Security Council next year and India would follow suit after that. “We look forward to working with India. In fact, we feel India has a natural place in the Council,” she said.
The Ambassador said people-to-people contact had increased recently with 15,000 Indian tourists visiting Estonia last year, a huge jump from 2017. There were also 200 Indian students in the Baltic country,