Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are European figureheads and global forerunners when it comes to digitization. 5G networks, comprehensive broadband coverage, and extended online administration services characterize the Baltic States as much as a successful start-up- and tech-scene, which has brought forth companies such as Skype, Transferwise, Trafi, Taxify, and Starship Technologies. The Baltic countries are ideal test labs for eGovernment, IT security, Blockchain, and many more digital developments, which are likely to shape our world in the near and far future.
Germany is not only the biggest single European IT market. It also invests massively in its own digital infrastructure and services portfolio. Germany is therefore a main target market for Baltic services suppliers and benefits at the same time significantly from cooperations with the innovative Baltic technology scene.
The first German Baltic Digital Summit on 21 and 22 January 2019 in Düsseldorf put its focus on topics such as ICT solutions, Software, eGovernment, Cyber Security, Smart City/Smart grids, logistics solutions, and Industry 4.0/IoT. It aimed to showcase best practices, create leads and – most importantly – give space for direct networking, knowledge-transfer and matchmaking talks.
Three Baltic delegations took place in the event and presented their experiences and solutions during panels and deep dive sessions with German companies. Parallel matchmaking talks allowed to go into depth about future projects and business cases.
Germany ranks 9th in the DESI report 2019 and is one of the leaders in spectrum assignment. With 82% of German Internet users listening to music online, watching videos and playing games on the Internet, 74% reading news online, 64% using online banking and 57% making video calls, Germans are above average users of the Internet. When it comes to online shopping, the country even ranks fifth among the EU28 (82%). In addition, German citizens and companies are actively approaching the opportunities of eCommerce.
However, Germans are reluctant to subscribe to fast or ultrafast broadband. Moreover, with only 43% of German Internet users being eGovernment users, the greatest challenge is to improve the online interaction between public authorities and citizens. Therefore, many institutions and companies are eager to learn from Baltic experiences and are also keen on finding partners on fields such as eGovernment, Cyber Security and others. Furthermore, urbanization, logistic, and environmental needs force the country to invest largely into smart technologies, especially into smart city and energy solutions.