For the last 9 months the Hi-Tech Park has registered about 200 new companies. This is way more than in the entire 12-year history. HTP has shown not only quantitative, but also qualitative growth of its residents. In the first half of 2018 the HTP export grew by 40%. Without taking into account new companies this is even more than in 2017, when HTP reached a record level (for the first time in history the exports exceeded the $ 1 billion mark and grew by 25%).
"At the beginning of 2017 the President drew a firm line to turn Belarus into an IT-country, and this year has really become a turning point. The decree actually works. The proof is the tremendous growth in all directions: the number of HTP residents is rising, record growth rates of exports, plenty of new start-ups. And not only new companies are on the increase but also HTP old residents have started developing with renewed vigour. To be frank, the results have surpassed all our plans and expectations, " Vsevolod Yanchevsky, the Hi-Tech Park Director, commented.
A third of new HTP residents create their own products. Among them there’s the "Polimaster" company which develops high-tech equipment for radiation monitoring. NTLab specialists are engaged in the medicine of the future and space development. On the list of "newcomers" there’s also the project "Lunas" which creates 3D-visualization for the world leaders of the design industry. The company "Revatt Electro" produces electric-charging stations for electric vehicles and "AiTrans Smart Technology" facilitates cargo transportation with the help of artificial intelligence technologies.
"It is very important for us that HTP has drawn attention to the companies engaged in developing their own products. We have been operating in the market for 25 years already and produce complex equipment but now the working conditions in Belarus have become the most attractive. This is due to the decree of the President as well as simple and transparent conditions for joining the Hi-Tech Park," Vadim Khramtsov, the "Polimaster" company director, said.
"Today it is very comfortable to work with the Hi-Tech Park. When we applied to join HTP, we did not encounter any bureaucracy, but on the contrary we received clear and understandable recommendations. I can surely say that with a well-designed business plan you can quickly go through all the necessary procedures and become a resident," Dmitry Chernyakovskiy, the director of the company "NTLab", said.
There are also start-ups among our new residents. The company "Healthy Networks" offers a technology to automatically determine lungs conditions and monitor patients remotely. "Rocketbody Technologies" is a developer and manufacturer of "smart" bracelets for medicine and sports.
"Initially we were skeptical about all this because there were large corporations in HTP, and it was hard for small companies and start-ups to get there. Thanks to the decree of the President "On Digital Economy" we recognized a real opportunity for business development in Belarus and now we have the most favorable conditions ", Vadim Radziwill, the director of R-NOX company monitoring atmospheric air pollution, said.
"Many companies offer their products for the real economy sector. Their developments are actively used in such spheres as the customs, road facilities, heavy industry, medicine. For example, "smart" control systems of one of the new residents are built into Minsk water supply network. There are also a lot of "smart city" solutions developed to improve urban conditions. It's a good tendency that IT companies from recognized countries of the world come to Belarus," Dmitry Titov, the High-Tech Park press secretary, said.
Over 60 new companies in HTP were established by citizens of the Republic of Belarus. About 20 residents have a wide geography of investments. These include several companies from the United States. The Silicon Valley project, EurusTech develops software for the banking sector. American telecommunications company IDT trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
"We first thought it would be reasonable to come to Belarus after we learned about the new regulation of the IT industry adopted in Belarus. Huge support of IT businesses from the side of the Head of State and stability of the legal regime of the Hi-Tech Park were the defining factors for us. With the development of our business we are ready to continue investing in the Belarusian economy," David Vartell, Head of the global corporate division of IDT technologies, said.
Companies from such countries as China, Norway, Israel, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, Cyprus, France, Russia joined HTP.
"We see that the firm determination of the President to create an IT-country is right. The effect of the Decree on the development of the digital economy is visible outside Belarus. The whole world has been talking about the country. And our company "Frontbyte" with completely Norwegian capital has come to the Belarusian market in HTP without hesitation. With a detailed business plan we joined the Park easily, quickly and transparently. We now have excellent professionals and similar time zones. We couldn’t even ask for more in terms of IT business development," Olga Sicko, Head of the Belarusian "Frontbyte" subsidiary, said.
"We have development centers all around the world. We consider it a very successful decision to open an office in Minsk especially because Belarus is known as one of the biggest game development centers. Employees who come to work with us ask whether we are HTP residents. This is what really matters for IT companies," Yury Boltyan, Gameloft Director said (Gameloft is one of the world leaders in developing mobile games with headquarters in Paris).
Decree No. 8 has allowed its residents to expand their activities. In their business models the companies were provided the opportunity to promote software to foreign markets, organize cyber sport events, use artificial intelligence technologies and machine learning.
"Thanks to the Decree and expansion of activities in HTP, we can now provide marketing, advertising and consulting services to promote the software. We are pleased that HTP also provides great support to educational projects. The company "Gismart" is known for its entertaining music mobile products, but we are actively working on educational ones, too. In our latest educational app Hello Piano we use the edutainment approach or learning through entertainment," Yevgeny Nagel, Gismart Director, says.
The HTP Supervisory Board has now decided to register 96 new residents. In the Hi-Tech Park there are already 388 companies.
The great breakthrough made by Belarus and the High-Tech Park in the IT field for the last year were also noted by the speakers of the largest SEC engineering conference in Minsk ever. The event was attended by employees, partners and clients of the HTP resident from Google, Microsoft, Workfusion, Chevron, Renesas. EPAM shares have been actively growing since 2017. In September major US funds Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Managment Research, Vanguard Group sharply increased their stakes in EPAM. The company's capitalization today is $ 7.68 billion.