The homeland of EcoTechnoPark to produce a decree that can turn Belarus into “Slavic Hong Kong”

The homeland of EcoTechnoPark to produce a decree that can turn Belarus into “Slavic Hong Kong”

25 July 2017 7383

The thoughts on the necessity of economic recovery are sounding in Belarus, in Russia, in Germany and in India. Just in early July, the General designer of the project design organization of SkyWay technologies Anatoly Yunitskiy talked about innovative approaches at the second EcoFestival, which was held in Maryina Gorka.

“The legislation should be changed. And in many countries it is developed, and Belarus, due to the fact that we do not have crowdinvesting, loses billions of dollars annually. Look, how many investments we can attract to a single project. However, so far lawmakers do not really strain much. They do not want to change the legislation. And Russia does not want either”.

Many people wonder why EcoTechnoPark has emerged and is successfully developing on the territory of Belarus. The countries and regions, where the test site of SkyWay transport could have been located, regret and kick themselves, and in the meantime the project design organization has employed more than three hundred professionals in different fields and continues to grow, sections of transport systems are successfully commissioned, and a small-batch production facility is ready for operation in the free economic zone.

Apparently, the thoughts of not only Anatoly Yunitskiy, but also many techies were heard, and Belarusian President promises greater support to the development of IT-sector and innovations. The development of EcoTechnoPark is monitored with interest at all government levels and the movement towards the innovative sector is the best proof of the importance of EcoTechnoPark for the country. The State will provide the necessary assistance, including that in legislation for organizations in this sector. However, one of the main requirements is transparency and legitimacy of processes from the viewpoint of doing business and taxation issues. The project design organization of SkyWay transport advocates the same principles ― transparency and openness. The audit of its activities in 2015 is openly available, and recently a new one was successfully conducted.

After the meeting with Dalai Lama and EcoFest, which gathered about 5,000 people, social networks, and not only them, are actively spreading rumors about the visit of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to EcoTechnoPark. This information currently remains without comments both from the country’s leadership and from the innovators. The analysis of the new Decree, which is being prepared in Belarus, can help to shed the light on why SkyWay is developing right here and what guests should be expected in the future.

Below we offer a round-up article of BelarusFeed via TUT.BY that features facts about the revolutionary document in the field of business in Belarus.

Hi-Tech Park Belarus will be open to new companies

The decree will give access of HTP’s residency to much more companies than now. In particular, product companies, investment funds (including venture capital funds), and educational projects in IT sphere.

The decree will IT companies to carry out any business activities aimed at monetizing software products. For example, earlier, neither Google, nor Facebook could become residents of HTP as they receive revenue from advertising and not from selling software. Draft decree contains the provision that lifts this limitation.

Decree sets legal basis for driverless car technology

This year HTP’s tops have met with representatives of Uber and Gett. In both cases, there were discussions about R&D centres in Belarus. Hence, the decree will create the necessary legal basis. Moreover, it has transpired that another law might allow driverless cars of level 3 cars on Belarusian roads.

No currency flows control for HTP’s residents

The decree is suppossed to lift many restrictions regarding financial operations for IT companies like exchange controls, restrictions on the movement of capital, and others. A similar thing had been done in Israel where tech industry soared afterwards.

Breakthrough in IT education

The decree provides for the creation of conditions for various forms of IT education. HTP residents would be able to provide educational services, including in English. Functions of the Ministry of Education in the IT sphere are transferred to the HTP’s administration. Big part of income from residents’ fees will be invested in tech education at schools and universities.

Investment funds and venture capital funds will be welcome

International investment funds are eyeing Belarus and are waiting for changes in the legislation. Some of the measures that will enable their coming are included in the draft decree.

New immigration policy – IT Hong Kong for Slavic world

While Baltic states are launching start-up visas to lure Belarusian programmers and start-up founders, the draft decree aims to turn Belarus into an “IT Hong Kong for the Slavic world”.

It will create favourable conditions for the arrival of Russian and Ukrainian companies by making it easier for foreign IT specialists to get residence permits and long-term start-up visas.

Elements of English law to step up investment

The decree will introduces separate institutes of English law that will stimulate investment activities. In particular, it will bring in the possibility to conclude shareholder agreements, option agreements, investment partnerships, convertible loans, non-competition agreements with employees.

Blockchain and crypto-currencies go legal

Crypto-currencies and tokens, based on the blockchain technology, will be put into civil circulation. HTP residents would be able provide crypto-exchange services, attract financing through ICO, use crypto-currencies and tokens in civil circulation. In the long term, major mining farms might be created in Belarus.

New jobs and tax revenues

At present 30,000 IT employees of the HTP help the country earn about $1 billion annually. All of the above gives hopes of a two-three-fold increase in the number of specialists and a corresponding rise in tax revenues.

 

Viacheslav Evtukh

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