Belarus may establish Ministry of Digital Economy

Belarus may establish Ministry of Digital Economy

On March 20, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with representatives of the cultural sphere and answered their questions.

The discussion involved 270 people - the best students of educational institutions in the field of culture, young creative workers and teachers. Young people asked the President dozens of questions, which touched on both serious and very personal topics.

It's no secret that the work of the President is very serious and responsible. You control the country, you are responsible for the welfare of the state. In principle, probably everything is clearly regulated in the work of any politician. Do you think elements of creativity are acceptable in politics?

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
You know that Belarus is the first country that took a risk and made serious decisions, at the end of 2017 they were announced, on IT and on the digital economy.This is the future. It took literally two or three months, and we understand that we hit the mark. But back then what I was offered those changes, I did not perceive it at all - I did not understand it. Many in this audience do not know what digital economy is either. But we need it in today's world. Because if we fall behind, tomorrow there will be no creativity.

Even you, creative people, digitalize many things. And the artists, even sculptors. Without this there will be no creativity of yours, there will be no management, no production and stars will not light up. This is the future.

During one year we created this legal framework. During that year I did not study those things that much but I was offered a draft decree. No. I proceeded from simple folk wisdom. I looked at what they offer. What are the negative consequences? Such and such. Who will suffer from them? They will. This does not hurt anyone else: if they fail, they will be hurt. And so on.

Naturally, the government and other authorities made their suggestions and comments. And I have come to the point that, even if all this does not happen, the state will not lose anything. Having studied the subject a little bit, after talking to them all, having met in specific companies, having counted the money that the state could get (the state will get a little money here, but people will receive it, education will rise to an incredibly high level, new education will appear, which we did not have in our country ), I took a chance.

MORE: What Belarus' companies think about Hi-Tech Park Decree 2.0

Creatively approaching this, I signed the documents. Today I do not regret. Today they are already coming to me (I will announce this for the first time and the head of the administration is present here, she will have to implement it), they are asking to create the Ministry of Digital Economy in Belarus. I shuddered when I heard this. I thought to myself: "Where to put it in?" Or united with something? And they say: "Mr Lukashenko, do not worry. We will give all the necessary money for this Ministry and even more." I told them that, most likely, I will support this decision.

If this is an element of creativity, not very interesting, of course, for you, maybe for people. But this is an element of creative risk, a politician must always have it.

Many talk about the security - both internal and external - of our state. Anti-terrorist security, general military security. Is this not important for us? Look at what's going on around. You should not go far: look down on the map and you will see what is happening in our brotherly Ukraine, in other countries - even lower down the map, Syria, Iraq and so on. Everywhere there are questions of external security for these states (I'm not talking about internal security, internal terrorism).

I tell you, this is a difficult prospect. But realizing that we are a sovereign independent Belarus, and clearly realizing that no one will give us happiness in the form of the security of our state (on the contrary, the majority will look sideways and think: "Let them fall into some bad situation, crawl, well, we'll see whether to help them or not"), I, as the first President of the country, cannot agree with such a philosophy.

We had to provide our own security. This is big money. We had to create modern weapons. Missile. We did not have that much competence in this area, but we created it for one and a half year. But it was a big risk - to spend a lot of money. It is hard to imagine. Of course, I risked, I creatively approached it, collecting creative people to create these Polonez rockets (now we will create the third generation during three years). But we needed it as a deterrent. When you have such a weapon hanging on the wall, no one will come here, as people say.

MORE: Polonez multiple rocket launchers to come into service in Belarus