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AIMatter founders on the future of Belarus' IT

Applications of Belarusian programmers are getting more and more popular. May love selfies but now you can change the background if you like. And here's another opportunity: you can change your hair color.

Mobile applications have turned Belarusian IT entrepreneurs into dollar millionaires. American giant Google bought a Belarusian company this week. This is a historic deal. Such a major success in the field of information technology for Belarus (when a foreign corporation acquires the whole company) is the precedent.

Yuri Melnichek, co-founder of AIMATTER:
The most important thing is that this is a historic acquisition which affects our image. This is actually the first time that an IT company, not just some international company, but such a giant - Google, which cares about its image, about its reputation, about legal issues, - ventured to get acquainted with Belarusian law and buy a Belarusian company. We believe that it will now be much easier for Belarusian companies to make deals with foreign companies with the issuance of Decree 2.0 on the High-Tech Park.

Denis Aleinikov, senior partner of the law firm Aleinikov & Partners:
If we want today to withstand the race of legal jurisdictions that other states are conducting and to provide our technological and other sectors with equal conditions and management, and attract investment from abroad, Belarus must raise our law to the level of international standards. And it's essentially the High-Tech Park which is engaged in this now. It has initiated these processes with the support of the IT community, experts and it prepared a draft decree that now contains the most popular tools for structuring transactions, according to English law and other foreign law.

Belarus is on the way to the status of an IT country. This week, a British audit and consulting company published a detailed report on the development of Belarus IT.

The high-tech park in Belarus is like the Silicon Valley in the USA. Inside, there are 181 resident companies and about 30,000 specialists. 85% of the total output goes to foreign markets. Among them are new like Japan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In comparison with 2016 this figure grew by 25%.

Yuri Gursky, co-founder of AIMATTER:
We can very strongly give impetus to our economy. We need to create conditions that our neighbors do not have - Russia, Ukraine and other Russian-speaking countries. People will come here, money will come and companies will be lured, so there will be growth.

History shows that Belarusians can do that. If we believe in ourselves, we can do much. We have tens of thousands of engineering staff. When a couple of percent of them decided to make their projects, this would be a very big startup boom. That is, the potential is very serious.

The President of Belarus said that Belarus should become an IT country. At the same time, Alexander Lukashenko stressed the significant synergetic effect. Ultimately, the budget will benefit from the work of the IT sector. To do this, it is also necessary to train the new generation of personnel.

The future of Belarus' IT