by Mikhail Doroshevich
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree establishing a high-tech industrial park in the country aimed at stimulating Belarusian research and development, and information and communication technologies in particular.
The park will be situated in the Minsk area, occupying some 50 hectares of land.
The supervisory board appointed by the President will manage the project. The priorities of the project are ICT related technologies and software, with an extension of the park's activities permissible in the future with the approval of the Supervisory Council and of the President.
Though there is no definition of ICT sphere in the decree, it is stated that legal persons and individual entrepreneurs engaged in software and data processing related technologies, as well as scientific bodies engaged in fundamental and applied research can become residents of the park.
The documents required for registration include a copy of constituent documents (the certificate on state registration) and a business-plan. Residency applications for the park will be judged by the Supervisory Board.
Residents of the Park sign an agreement with the park administration. The agreement frees residents from paying taxes, apart from a one per cent tax on profits to be paid towards the high-tech park's administrative budget. Park residents also receive preferential income tax rates for their employees. Park residents must work only through Belarusian banks, and are not allowed to be engaged in activities other than those stipulated in the agreement.