By Anna Kotova
In an effort to improve the competitiveness and the investment attractiveness of ICT in Belarus, the International Finance Corporation is helping set up an initiative group of representatives of the industry. The group comprises heads of top Belarusian IT companies and those from interested ministries and government agencies, as well as experts from business associations. The group currently features about 30 structures, with their number set to rise in future.
Max Yacoub, the Head of the IFC Office in Belarus, notes that Belarus’ ICT industry shows a great deal of promise but is poorly developed. He underlines that conditions could be made more attractive, to inspire more major investors. The Government is keen to improve regulations in the IT sphere, to improve the industry’s attractiveness in the eyes of investors, with plans to be forwarded for official consideration this autumn.
The path forward should then become clear. Minsk will be hosting an international conference dedicated to the attraction of foreign investments into the Belarusian information and communication industry as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, in November. “IFC is a partner for the event. Participants of the conference will discuss ways of raising competitiveness and the investment attractiveness of the ICT industry. Moreover, Belarusian companies will be able to present their investment projects to foreign investors,” underlines Mr. Yacoub.
Efforts to improve FDI terms in Belarus are the major focus of the IFC’s consultative work here: streamlining investment laws (primarily the Law ‘On Investments’); developing the potential of the National Agency of Investment and Privatisation — to attract foreign direct investments; and promoting mechanisms of public-private partnership to enhance the investment attractiveness of various branches of the Belarusian economy. At present, work is concentrated around the information and communication technologies industry.