Lukashenka promises "drastic" steps to develop IT sector

The Belarusian government will take "drastic" steps this summer to further develop its information technologies sector, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday in Minsk while opening the Belarusian-Vietnamese Business Forum.

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Mr. Lukashenka described Belarus as "one of Europe's leaders in the sphere of high technologies and a well-known software developer."

In March, the head of state discussed possible changes to regulations governing the IT sector during his meeting with Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev.

"We are saying that Belarus should be turned into an IT country," said Mr. Gutseriyev, who has invested in the country's IT sector. "It is necessary to make products here so that Belarus becomes one of the global IT hubs. And it is possible to do this. Slight changes to regulations are needed. We are talking about turning Belarus into a source of new technologies."

According to Mr. Gutseriyev, Belarusian IT companies mainly provide outsourcing services to foreign companies and therefore get only a small portion of the revenue from the sale of final products.

Mr. Lukashenka promised that the government would provide support to the sector.