The Hi-Tech Park in Minsk houses IT companies. Photo: RFE/RL
On 4 September, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation rolled out a new website with instructions for Belarusian IT specialists on relocating to Ukraine amid ongoing protests against electoral fraud in Belarus – belarustoukraine.com.
Mykhailo Fedorov told that this web portal will contain information for IT specialists who want to relocate temporarily or permanently to Ukraine and will work 24/7.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Barniakov added that over 4,500 Belarusian citizens had entered Ukraine in the last two weeks, of whom 300 came from the IT industry.
The web portal cooperates with Ukrainian companies and the IT community help Belarusian IT specialists to officially find employment in Ukraine and obtain a residence permit.
Fedorov also announced his intention to create a virtual free economic zone for IT companies with a special tax, financial, and legal regime by the beginning of 2021. According to him, this project is called “Action.City”, and the legal framework will be developed by Denis Aleinikov – one of the authors of the legislation on the activities of the Belarusian High Techology Park.
The High Technology Park in Minsk is an analogue of Silicon Valley in the United States, and a brainchild of Valery Tsapkala, a Belarusian opposition politician who is now exiled from Belarus following the crackdown after the rigged elections. It is a state organization with a separate economic zone with its own taxation created in order to stimulate the growth of Belarusian IT companies and to prevent IT specialists from going abroad.
Employees working in the Park also joined the protests, which is why searches, detentions and other repressive actions of Belarusian law enforcemend took place there. Now many Belarusians are seeking to relocate to Ukraine.
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