The volume of export and foreign investment in the High-Tech Park Belarus increased by 16% in 2016, the head of the HTP Valery Tsepkala told at the press conference on 22 February.
In 2016 the production of computer software reached 1 790.2 million Belarusian rubles, or $904.4 million, providing an annual growth rate of 42% (19% with due account of the deflator and USD exchange rate changes).
The figure is lower than the expected target – last year Valery Tsepkala suggested that the HTP can earn 1 billion US dollars in 2016. It didn’t happen for several reasons. Dut to a sudden decrease of exports to Russia and the decrease of euro and pound exchange rates against US dollar (HTP has many partners in Europe).
Nevertheless, 19% growth is a good result considering the fact that the annual growth of the global IT market is 3%.
Belarus HTP resident-companies delivered their services to customers from 67 countries in 2016. Almost half of exports go to Western Europe, 43.2% to the United States. Exports to Russia have fallen by 43% during the year.
Major importers are located in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and Ireland. In 2016, HTP residents entered markets of four new countries: Philippines, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, and Mexico.
The top 5 exporters are EPAM Systems, Game Stream, IBA IT Park, Itransition and iTechArt Group.
Besides software production, one of the priority objectives of the Hi-Tech Park is to encourage school students’ interest in engineering, computer science and other technical disciplines and promote technical education.
In 2016, the Hi-Tech Park initiated an educational project on developing educational programs in programming in Scratch for school children. The project was supported by the Ministry of Education and successfully launched.
In April the IT academy for kids opened in Orsha. The academy is intended to help kids and school students learn programming as well as teach school teachers how to program in Scratch.
During open days in HTP over 4,000 high school students visited offices of HTP companies in 2016. They met with software engineers and other IT specialists, learned about IT professions, and received advice how to build a successful career in the IT industry.
High-Tech Park Belarus has 165 resident companies, employing over 27,000 people at present.