February 10, 2020
Name of Seminar: Estonia - JICA Networking Seminar on Digital Ecosystem Building for International Development: Extending "Society 5.0 for SDGs" Beyond Borders
Date: February 10, 2020 (Monday)
Co-hosts: Government of Estonia, JICA
Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Jüri Ratas, Republic of Estonia
Minister of Education and Research (MER) H.E Mrs Mailis Reps, Republic of Estonia
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Estonia H.E. Mr. KITAOKA Hajime
JICA Senior Vice President Mr. YAMADA Junichi
Estonian digital related companies
(Note) There were 86 participants to the seminar.
In recent years, with the wider use of mobile phones and technological advancement such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), many ideas to solve numerous agenda in developing countries are becoming reality using digital technologies and methodologies.
The Japanese industry is fully committed to building a sustainable society using digital technologies and methodologies. A symbolic move by the Japanese private sector is the recent announcement of "Society 5.0 for SDGs," an initiative proposed by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren).
The Republic of Estonia is now known as the global digital leader, providing support and advice on e-government to rest of the world based on their pioneering experience starting from early part of this millennium.
This seminar was co-hosted by the Government of Estonia and JICA to strengthen partnership between the private and public sector stakeholders in Estonia and Japan in order to enhance digital transformation in developing countries through international cooperation.
SVP YAMADA and Prime Minister Ratas in discussion
Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Jüri Ratas, Republic of Estonia made the Opening Remark. He stressed his great expectations for further collaboration between Estonian and Japanese companies in the global digital economy. JICA Senior Vice President Mr. YAMADA Junichi followed by introducing JICA's related activities, such as establishing of the Digital Transformation Task Force (DXTF) on December 1,2019 under direct command of President Mr. KITAOKA Shinichi and co-creation partnership program with Keidanren, in addition to objective of this seminar. Ambassador H.E. Mr. KITAOKA Hajime made a speech on bilateral relationship between Japan and Estonia. Minister of Education and Research (MER) H.E Mrs Mailis Reps, Republic of Estonia presented Estonia's digitalization efforts in the area of education.
These remarks were followed by presentations from 15 Estonian digital related companies. They introduced their respective technologies and activities in the field of e-government, digitalization of social services such as education and health, smart cities, etc, before having discussions with participants from 23 Japanese companies. During the presentation and discussion, it was highlighted that Estonia has transformed itself into a fully digitalized society. Public administration procedures are fully digitalized, only exceptions being marriage, divorce and real estate transactions. Curriculum for early child education is designed to meet the requirements in a digitalized society. Medical prescriptions are also digitalized. As a conclusion, participants shared the view that in order to promote digitalization of administrative procedures and social services in developing countries and elsewhere, both the public and private sectors need to work together to co-create a "Digital Ecosystem" that meets the needs and increase efficiency for the citizens.