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Top Banker About IT Country, Dependency On Russia And Doing Business In Belarus

There’s no such thing as an IT country, Belarus is totally economically dependent on Russia, and what it is like to do business in Belarus today. 

Victor Babariko, the head of Belgazprombank, shared his views on the current situation in the country in a recent interview.

The Head of Belgazprombank Victor Babariko

“In Belarus, 70% of the property belongs to the public sector. My biggest dream is to change the proportion so that 70% belong to small and medium-sized businesses and only 30% to the state.

To change the situation the banker advises to learn from the experience of the Chinese colleagues.

The recipe is very simple, as China’s Deng Xiaoping once famously said: “To get rich is glorious.” That is what the leaders of our country should say now.

Dependency on Russia

“The Republic had a unique chance to become an independent country at the end of the 20th century. (after the collapse of the USSR – note BelarusFeed)

There was an opportunity to create an additional 15 states, but we slipped to where we are: to the dream of cheap energy and doing nothing. “

Building on this, Babariko recalls the thought from Lars von Trier’s movie that with the fall of slavery and death of a slave owner, slaves didn’t become free.

“We are totally economically dependent. Yes, we are constitutionally sovereign, but we are not independent. And, unfortunately, we like it. Our main dream is that someone should give us something.

On business

“I talked to businessmen back in the late 90s, and they told me an amazing thing. It’s great that we do business this way – we don’t compete with products, but with the ability to do business in Belarus.

If foreign products come here, they will leave no stone unturned. But they won’t because they don’t know how to run business in Belarus, and we can produce whatever we like and sell it only in this country.

On public-private partnership

“We offer ourselves to the state as a bridegroom offers himself to a picky bride, who is acting up.

Sharing own experience on trying to make a deal with the state and how that turned out Victor Babariko said:

“A public-private partnership is like a sandwich – someone has a sausage, someone has a loaf of bread, and we eat it together. But the state says: yes, we eat it together, but the sausage and bread are yours.

On the IT-country

“Today people from the IT sphere come to the 8th graders and say: guys, who do want to earn $500?

Then choose the best ones and give them a profession but don’t develop their horizons and intelligence. You seduce them with money and simply turn them into expendables. 

He also indicated some controversial moments with tax benefits and its non-integration in social life.

“And there’s another story with taxes. They pay 1% of turnover. One year they had one billion revenue, i.e are 10,000,000 taxes. Here is just a mismatch.

The banker also believes that the IT industry in its form it is today is of no big no use to the country.

“What is an IT country? For me, this is when all services are digitized. When I come to the clinic, and there’s no need to keep a card as there are electronic patient health records.

And the fact that 60,000 people work in the IT industry is a doubtful criterion. More people work in agriculture, but we don’t call ourselves an agrarian country, right?