MINSK, 3 August (BelTA) – When asked what role the former head of the Hi-Tech Park Valery Tsepkalo had played Director of the Hi-Tech Park Vsevolod Yanchevsky noted that the Hi-Tech Park had become an attractive place for investors thanks to decisions made by the head of state. In an interview with the Belarusian TV channel ONT Vsevolod Yanchevsky noted he had asked the head of state “to turn the page” at a time when Valery Tsepkalo could have become a person of interest in a criminal investigation, BelTA has learned.
Vsevolod Yanchevsky went on saying: “Why do investors come? Why do companies and export grow? Why does everything happen after all? Because the Hi-Tech Park has become an attractive place for investments and for setting up companies. And why did it become attractive? Because the president of the country made decisions. I am not talking only about the Digital Economy Development Ordinance. Companies, investors, and all the parties that want to start a new business evaluate the combination of conditions, the overall atmosphere. They evaluate the general attitude, other decisions, the attitude of the head of state. They don't stick to the dead letter of the ordinance but to live deeds, to how things happen in real life. They listen to words, trying to understand and feel this atmosphere.”
Vsevolod Yanchevsky continued: “To my regret, the head of state is very modest, particularly in this sphere. He has never talked about the huge amount of work, not only the Digital Economy Development Ordinance but also other decisions he made and instructions he gave in order to create an excellent, calm atmosphere around the park. Naturally, it is his will. Who signed these ordinances? The first one and the second one? The head of state did. Any normal person can see whose decisions those were, whose signature and will. I am the director of the Hi-Tech Park but what would I have been able to do without decisions of the head of state? It is an absolutely obvious question.”
He also responded to the TV show host, who said Valery Tsepkalo had been about to go to prison once. “True, but Valery Tsepkalo was not the only one involved. It was a very large case involving one company. There were very serious taxation violations, which by the way they admitted and compensated on their own. Some materials concerned Valery Tsepkalo, too. Back then I directly asked the head of state to ‘turn the page', figuratively speaking, on behalf of the IT community. I made the request to give some second wind to this industry. So that investors could see that everything is calm and stable here, that the attitude is very good. So that new guys would not be afraid of anything. And the president backed me up. The president has always been looking very carefully at what the Hi-Tech Park will give not only to IT companies but the entire country,” Vsevolod Yanchevsky said.
Vsevolod Yanchevsky stressed that the technologies the Hi-Tech Park successfully creates for other countries should be definitely introduced in Belarus. “Last year the number of R&D products made for the home market increased by several times. There was such a problem some time ago because the Hi-Tech Park was in some kind of a removed state in relation to the entire economy. It has changed now. Digital technologies are everywhere: the manufacturing sector, agriculture, our lives, banking. The world is truly going digital. Digitization is inescapable. Those who surpass others along this way will be genuine leaders, they will benefit. I cannot say that we've built an IT country. It is being built. But we have excellent chances of building it,” Vsevolod Yanchevsky said.
Over 70 new resident companies were registered in Belarus' Hi-Tech Park in July 2020 alone. Vsevolod Yanchevsky noted that people in the Hi-Tech Park come up with new ideas, gather up their own teams, make their own products, see successful examples, and strive to become as successful.
“It may be even cooler and more precious than any export. Because new giants, a new EPAM may evolve out of these young companies, who the Hi-Tech Park and the president have greenlighted and have given an opportunity to grow. They may come up with and do some absolutely new, absolutely fantastic things,” the head of the Hi-Tech Park concluded.