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Closer look into proposal to set up digital economy ministry in Belarus

Economy 26.04.2018 | 13:01

MINSK, 26 April (BelTA) – The Digital Economy Development Council will work on proposals to set up the relevant ministry. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the relevant statement during the first session of the council, the press service of the Belarusian government told BelTA.

Andrei Kobyakov chaired the first session of the Digital Economy Development Council. During the session the prime minister noted that in order to implement the government policy in the area of digital transformation the country needs a comprehensive system to manage these processes. “This is why the head of state has instructed the government to work out proposals on setting up a powerful and effective ministry in this sphere, study in detail and calculate all the aspects of the work of such an agency. Today during the first session of the council we will have to take a closer look into proposals on setting up such a ministry,” he said.

The prime minister stressed that new digital technologies need to be embraced in all spheres of life of the society and the economy if Belarus is to become an IT country. “State administration bodies, the education system, regulatory bodies in various spheres will have to radically redesign their work. We have already made an important step. The Digital Economy Development Ordinance, which was signed in late 2017, enables unprecedented legal conditions for the operation of the IT industry in our country. We expect that the successful approbation of a number of legislative norms in the Hi-Tech Park will allow us to transfer this experience onto the entire economy in the future,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In his words, the IT sphere, telecommunications, and regular communications represent only a small part of the economy, which will have to be redesigned. “We face an ambitious and complicated task: to make conventional industries — the production sector, agriculture, transportation system — responsive to innovations,” said the prime minister.

Andrei Kobyakov pointed out that the successful development of the digital economy will not be limited to technologies alone. The effective administration of the changes will play a considerable role. The system to manage the changes should be extremely flexible, should match the overall state administration system, and should have the ability to respond to external conditions. “Bearing these tasks in mind, we've set up our Digital Economy Development Council upon instructions of the head of state. The council will have to become the strategic center for managing the digital transformation processes. The council includes representatives of leading government agencies, which are responsible for pursuing the state policy in this sphere, as well as those, which take care of the systems of crucial importance for the successful assimilation of digital technologies. It is no accident that representatives of the private sector sit on this council. Your views on every problem in the world of new technologies seem extremely valuable,” said the Belarusian head of government.

In his words, taking into account the importance and the complicated nature of resolution of digitization problems the council will convene at least once every three months. Sessions will be held even more frequently if necessary. “We will use this venue to discuss the most topical problems, formulate priorities and the main directions of development of the digital economy. We will determine the legal field where the new Belarusian economy will have to work. We will also evaluate the performance of individual government agencies, economy branches, and major companies,” concluded Andrei Kobyakov.

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