Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
On September 22, 2005 Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, signed the Decree On HiTech Park. According to the Decree, the enterprise is aimed at stimulating Belarusian science development, and information and communication technologies in particular. The HiTech Park will be situated in Minsk area, occupying some 50 hectares of land.
Supervisory Board appointed by the President will manage the project. The priorities of the HiTech Park project are ICT related technologies, and software. The extension of the Park activities is permissible in 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 the state registration) and a business-plan. The decision on registration of the applicant as the resident of Park is made by the Supervisory Board.
Residents of the Park sign agreements with the Park Administration. According to the agreement, a Park resident, though not paying taxes, should pay 1% profit tax every four months to the Park budget. Park residents get some preferences on employees' income tax. Park residents should work only through Belarusian banks, and are not allowed to be engaged in the activities other from those stipulated in the agreement.
According to the Decree, individuals can apply to the Supervisory Board as well. If the project is accepted by the Board, a person should get registered as a judicial person and then apply to the Board again, or she can sign an agreement with one of the Park residents. But the Decree does not provide for any investments or credit preferences for individual projects.
At the same time any Belarusian company can apply with a particular project to the Board. If the project is accepted, the project related activities will enjoy all the benefits, though the company itself does not become a Park resident. In case the company does not observe terms of the agreement, it should pay all the taxes due to the operations within the agreement period
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