Belarus Hi-Tech Park special tax regime to last until 2049?

Belarus Hi-Tech Park special tax regime to last until 2049?

The Belarus head of state was presented a draft decree on Hi-Tech Park (HTP) and the digitalization of the economy on December 11. The document foresees measures for the further development of the High-Tech Park, personnel issues, the introduction of new technologies (such as the blockchain system). In particular, special treatment for HTP will be extended until 2049. To make Belarus an IT country and a leader of Eastern Europe in building a digital economy is an ambitious task for the near future.

The 50-page document presupposes revolutionary changes in high technologies. The maximum task is to make Belarus an IT nation. The minimum task is to improve the conditions for business, in this case, to stimulate it to use more digital innovations.

 «Шанс стать страной, которая будет самодостаточна и забудет разговоры о газе и нефти»

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We could not even imagine five years ago that we would seriously talk about this decision. Life develops so quickly and rapidly and this does not go anywhere. If we lag behind in this turbulent life, then again we will complain about the lack of oil, natural gas and something else. Here's our chance. A chance for us to become a country that is self-sufficient and will forget about conversations about natural gas, oil and other resources.

Yevgeny Gorin, CTV:
In Belarus, there are 30,000 IT engineers, who annually provide foreign exchange earnings of about $1 billion. The Decree "On the Development of Digital Economy" will create conditions when this figure can grow significantly.

The preferential regime for the residents of the Park of High Technologies will be extended until 2049.

"The Belarusian Silicon Valley" will become a platform for the development of unmanned taxis and artificial intelligence. Transactions can now be concluded based on the principles of English law, like elsewhere in the world. Businessmen will no longer need to go to foreign jurisdictions, withdraw money from the country through third parties.

Vsevolod Yanchevsky, director of the Park of High Technologies:
These are conditions for the arrival of capital, of IT companies. The most favorable conditions for the development of new blockchain technologies. But the key point is that all this should benefit our country. The whole economy, the whole Belarusian nation. This is what was discussed: investments should come here, to Belarus, flowing into the economy of Belarus. So that technologies help improve the performance of our industry, agriculture, education. So that money remains here in Belarus. So that the state budget, from which many people are supported, benefited from this.

Notification order is introduced when it comes to currency control. IT engineers will be able to send and receive money by usual invoices (an electronic list of services, goods and prices, without unnecessary inquiries and stamps).

Subsidiary responsibility, which frightened many, now disappears. In the event of bankruptcy, you will have to be responsible only within your amount of investments, and not for all property.

By the way, the approximate survival of startups is 1 to 10, this is a normal world practice. One of the priorities of the industry will be IT education.

Vasily Matyushevsky, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
The most important is the challenge for society in the educational plan. The time has come when a person should know more than one language, preferably a foreign language. That is, in principle, we in Belarus traditionally have bilingualism, Belarusian and Russian. Obviously, we must know English, and this must be a very "working" language. Today, a lot has been said about this, especially by representatives of the business community.

Unfortunately, we are a little behind and to the preparation of staff for traditional IT industry. Education itself must assume different skills than our education now offers. These are the skills of the architect and so on. And also IT-related skills that require the promotion of finished products.

Such giants as Google and Facebook could not earlier become residents of the Belarusian HTP since their revenue (not from selling programs, but from advertising) did not dovetail with the law. The new decree eliminated this problem.

SEE: Full list of probable innovations introduced by new draft decree on IT sector in Belarus

The broadest opportunities for the arrival of investment funds and venture organizations to Belarus are being created. This means money, additional jobs, and incomes to the budget.

Arkady Dobkin, General Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EPAM Systems, Inc.:
There are a lot of innovations that reflect the change of reality around us and potentially put Belarus, at least for some period of time, in a privileged position. Because those changes that will be adopted have not yet been widely adopted in other countries.

Eric Esterlis, Co-CEO of IAC Applications (USA):
New technologies that have now appeared (such as blockchain), can dramatically change how things work. Even the Internet can be speeded up. Plus, we change how data is exchanged. And with this change, new opportunities arise for doing new things.

SEE: Belarusian IT entrepreneur about new digital economy decree