Technology in Belarus

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Smart City spending less than planned. Belarus announced plans for an ambitious Smart City program almost five years ago but has implemented very few projects since since.

US$10 bln available for technology projects. There are, however, several major initiatives underway, some funded by World Bank and EU agencies, aimed at improving telecom services, renewable energies, transportation links and the environment.

Telecoms earmarked for spending program. There are several major programs currently underway to both expand and improve telecom services and internet access and speeds.

Large focus on innovation. The country’s efforts in the technology sector are focused on attracting international technology companies and innovators to locate and operate in Belarus. There are already some very notable success stories in this sphere.

Software center. Belarus is a major center for software development. Several major application and program developers, including billion-dollar computer games producers, operate from there.

Minsk HTP a success story. Minsk Hi-Tech Park has attracted several major software companies. It offers tax breaks and other incentives to boost investment and employment.

Soviet legacy. Belarus benefits from its legacy as a major computer center during the Soviet era. Universities and technical colleges turn out thousands of technology students every year.

Chinese involvement is growing. Chinese investors, especially Huawei, have tabled proposals for major projects in the smart tech sectors. China is an increasingly important investor in Belarus, which is an important link in the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Russian companies have a big presence. Many Russian technology companies and software developers have either located to Belarus or created significant operations there. Partly, this is due to sanctions avoidance and partly to take advantage of the availability of cheap and well qualified people.