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Opinions & Interviews

14 Jun 2018

Forthcoming decision to convert Belarus into free financial haven hailed as momentous event

Forthcoming decision to convert Belarus into free financial haven hailed as momentous event

MINSK, 14 June (BelTA) – The Digital Economy Development Ordinance was justifiably named revolutionary. The future decision to convert Belarus into a free financial haven should become a momentous event. First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky made the relevant statement as he presented the Digital Economy Development Ordinance in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 14 June, BelTA has learned.

The official pointed out that the Digital Economy Development Ordinance is one of the first steps towards building a digital economy in Belarus. The terms the government offers, their appeal to private investors, and their competitive ability in comparison with foreign jurisdictions also play an important role.

Vasily Matyushevsky said: “We should consider the digital economy ordinance in connection with the next, much more important step, which was clearly outlined in the latest address [to the nation and the parliament] by the head of state – converting Belarus into one of the world’s most attracting places for rich, talented, and successful people. While the Digital Economy Development Ordinance was justifiably named revolutionary, the future decision to convert Belarus into a favorable place for making investments, into a convenient and free financial haven should become momentous.”

Vasily Matyushevsky pointed out the record growth the Hi-Tech Park has demonstrated this year. In Q1 2018 the Hi-Tech Park’s output and sales increased by over 30% in comparison with Q1 2017 while the volume of sales of high-tech products and services on the domestic market doubled.

“But the unprecedentedly fast growth of the number of Hi-Tech Park resident companies is certainly the most surprising thing. Over 100 new companies over the course of five months. It is an absolute historic high,” stressed the first deputy prime minister of Belarus. “Young teams and startups, which have been staying in the shadow and in garages up till now, have put their faith in the Digital Economy Development Ordinance.” The new resident companies specialize in artificial intelligence, machine learning, robot technology, and big data. “In other words, they represent the bleeding edge of the modern information technology industry,” added Vasily Matyushevsky.

The first deputy prime minister of Belarus also praised the hard work of the new Hi-Tech Park director Vsevolod Yanchevsky. He was credited with invigorating the park’s operation, creating simple and transparent procedures for registering new resident companies, and attracting many new foreign investors.

In his words, if the current pace continues, this year the Hi-Tech Park will attract more new resident companies than in the previous 12 years since its inception.

Vasily Matyushevsky remarked that in absolute terms a programmer employed by a Hi-Tech Park company pays several times more taxes than an average Belarusian citizen. “Belarusian programmers earn their high salaries. And they do it with their brains primarily in the West in the face of tough competition,” stressed the official.

“I would like to thank the head of state, who virtually initiated the adoption of the revolutionary digital ordinance in addition to backing and signing it. As the head of the working group in charge of preparing the draft ordinance I would also like to thank our IT community, experts, lawyers, a number of top-ranking officials of the central government, the Belarus President Administration, the State Control Committee, power-wielding agencies, members of the parliament, and other people for united and fruitful work on this most complicated document,” said Vasily Matyushevsky.

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