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Opinion: Digital economy ordinance will turn Belarus into a hub of knowledge

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by December 22, 2017 General

MINSK, 22 December (BelTA) – The digital economy development ordinance will turn Belarus into a hub of knowledge in such progressive fields as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, Denis Aleinikov, a senior partner in the Aleinikov&Partners law firm, noted during a meeting between Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and representatives of the business community on 22 December, BelTA informs.

“Thanks to the ordinance and, I hope, other steps to be made, Belarus can become a leading center of expertise and knowledge in the most progressive fields such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. Knowledge is power,” Denis Aleinikov said.

The digital economy development ordinance was devised on the Belarus president’s initiative, he underlined. “This is an extremely important and timely document. The world is undergoing global digital transformation of business, economics, and even countries. What is happening today is similar to the industrial revolution of the 19th century in terms of importance. The global economy is looking for new points of growth. Belarus can occupy a decent place in this new changing system since the main value of the digital economy is people. There are smart people in Belarus, in fact. This is what the president stressed in spring 2017 when he announced a policy to build an IT country,” the lawyer recalled.

Previously corporations would fight for people, Dmitry Aleinikov stated. They were creating the conditions and powerful brands, and these brands were attracting people. Everyone understood: the best people will make the best things. “Today, countries are fighting for people. Countries are building up brands, and these brands are attracting people. Israel positions itself as a nation of startups. Singapore is a nation of smart people. For us, today Belarus is an IT country. And we want it to be a world-known brand,” Denis Aleinikov added.

In his words, after the policy to build an IT country was announced by the president, more food companies have been set up in the Hi-Tech Park than ever before. The most important thing is that Google, the world’s No. 1 IT company, joined the park in 2017. “As a lawyer who took part in this event in person, I can say that this was made possible largely thanks to the president. The fact that Belarus and the president began building an IT country has become known not only here but also overseas,” Denis Aleinikov emphasized.

He stressed that Belarus’ traditional business often does not feel brave enough for a global challenge. “We think that the idea to conquer the world with our products is not our thing, that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. We come up with an excuse that there are some much stronger economies, like the USA, Europe, China with scores of industrial giants, and we are too small to compete with them. On the other hand, our young people have a different approach in IT, in the world of startups. They want to make products for the whole world and they fear no one. They do not hesitate to take risks, they give it a try and break the stereotypes,” Denis Aleinikov underlined.

As an example, he recalled that the American giant Facebook has bought Masquerade, a Belarusian startup. “Mark Zuckerberg himself advertised this purchase across the gross. Now this video service is used throughout the world as part of Facebook. The unique technology was developed by several Belarusian guys, not by Facebook with its billions of investments and thousands of developers, which bought Masquerade because it was the best in the world,” Denis Aleinikov highlighted.

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